What’s the best training program for you?
The one you can do consistently.
Can your trainer design it for you? Absolutely, so long as both you and him/her understand it will require tweaking, inevitably.
A good personal training program needs to be tailored not only to your needs & wants (i.e. knowing how your body moves and needs correcting/adjusting, as well as your individual fitness goal), it needs to incorporate your lifestyle, your general mindset, your schedule. If you can’t follow it because you have no time or are too stressed out, fatigued mentally or physically, it’ll be like trying to push a baby grand piano on the beach and killing yourself instead of taking a stroll on the beach enjoying the waves and walking for a few miles, resetting your brain, recharging your mind and still getting the benefits of walking.
Your hormonal balance is just as important as your diet and as your training program. I can’t give you statistics or percentages because they don’t matter. Let’s not focus on that and get you going.
A good example for me is my current “life load”. My level of busy-ness is such that I could do a few training sessions at home 5 days per week. I live in a beautiful woodsy area, close enough to the beach, far enough from civilization, yet a short drive to anything I need. I have room both in my yard and in my home, and recently had to bring all of my training equipment from the gym I used to operate at. So, I’m fully stocked.
But I am not training there. Instead, I am training ONLY two days per week, Mondays and Wednesdays usually. On those days, I push for 2-3 training sessions covering everything that makes up a Natural Method session, with some liberties here and there. I lift for strength, I practice skills, I run for endurance or power, and I do some minimal touch-ups to train underdeveloped body parts for no other purpose than esthetics.
Result? I spend more time recovering, less pressure on other days and I can focus on “crunch time” (no, not abs of steel). Trying to manage multiple streams of income and a family is demanding amidst economic uncertainty. Not a complaint, a fact, and educated choices. This regimen allows me to push hard, past my comfort zone, a couple of days a week and really, the most uncomfortable part comes from the endurance training.
Strength training is about managing strength, having the ability to incrementally lift heavier, being well rested at every set. Skill development is playful and without pressure, as an inch of progress is better than stillness. Energy is managed on those long Mondays and Wednesdays and my focus can be 100% on what I need to to outside of training on other days.
Is that against Georges Hébert’s Natural Method principle? Not if I get better, am strong, useful and skilled. Not if I can sustain this for a while. Not it we understand that manipulating variables to reach a desired outcome is the skill that comes from programming. Hébert ideally wants us to train 6 days a week, with 5 days of training and 1 day of playing (with sessions lasting an hour on average, cumulatively).
In the upcoming book adaptation and training guide based on Hébert’s programming, I break down realistic options for getting complete training sessions with as few as two weekly sessions and up to his desired/proposed 6 days per week. It’s what you can do that matters the most. And when the body and mind intuitively allows you to modify your training frequency, go for it.
The various photos posted represent the tools and training concepts that make up my training sessions, all inspired by Georges Hébert’s programming albeit adapted and modernized with what we have available today.