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What makes a complete workout programme?

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Most of the clients I work with are looking for what I'd describe as a 'complete' training experience. What does this mean though? For me and my clients it's about not ignoring any key facets of training. But what are the key facets of training?


For most, it can be divided into 3 primary categories: Strength, Mobility & Cardio.


Let's quickly discuss how you may integrate all 3 of these in to your training.


Strength

For most people I recommend strength training 2-3x per week. This would involve picking maybe 3-10 exercises you perform across the week, where the primary focus should be lifting more weight whilst maintaining good technique. This should be performed at a relatively high intensity with plenty of rest in between sets.


Mobility

Mobility doesn't just refer to stretching or traditional 'mobility' exercises. For me and my clients, it's about intelligently selecting exercises that will help improve the quality of movement of the individual. If a client is an avid runner then this training will be specific to improving how they run. Similarly if the individual is stuck to a desk for 12 hours a day then these exercises may be selected to help reverse the potential negative effects of this. This type of training can be combined with your strength training sessions and is often externally loaded with weights.


Cardio

This could be anything that gets your heart rate elevated for a sustained period. I encourage a combination of lower intensity 30-60 minute sessions along with some shorter higher intensity 10-20 minute sessions. You have options here with how you get this in. It could be more traditional cardio machines in the gym, a run in the great outdoors or a sporting activity, it doesn't matter as long as your heart is beating faster than normal and you're feeling a little breathless.


It goes without saying that if an individual has more specific goals then they may lean into one of these categories more than the other and as long as a minimum effective dose is utilised in the other 2 categories then you're okay. However complete disregard for any of these categories will likely lead to some kind of dysfunction in the long run.


It's also worth mentioning that these categories all supplement one another. Better cardio means better recovery from strength training sessions. Better mobility means more options for cardio and fewer injuries. And being stronger just means you won't break in half when you try to pick up the shopping bags (not to mention it helps you look more defined!)


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