When it comes to your fitness regime, do you consider your visits to the gym a workout or a training session? Have you ever thought about it before? Do you even know the difference?

Well I’m here to tell you that, yes, there is a difference. A workout simply put is when you go to the gym and you may pump some weights or do some cardio but the workout may not have a real purpose, it is simply for you to get in, get out, just so you can feel better about yourself once it’s finished. Whereas a training session is programmed, has a purpose, and is a stepping stone to a set goal.

So, what do your sessions look like? Do you have a split where you work out different body parts on different days? Is that about as in depth as your program goes? No wonder you’re not getting great results.

By having a program to follow your allowing your body a chance to learn and adapt to the correct movement patterns, and you can then implement progressive overloading where you start to add more weight to your lifts each time, over a 4 to 6 week period, before changing and advancing your program.

In order to write a program you first need to define your goal(s). It’s okay to have more than one goal and incorporate them into a single program. Let me give you an example of my goals and my programming. I would like to compete in CrossFit one day, and in order to gain the strength, power, speed and all the other fitness elements that go into being a CrossFit athlete I need to program my routine so that I am consistently training across all these fitness domains. Though I am training for CrossFit, my physique is still very important to me, and so I am able to structure my program by still incorporating functional bodybuilding exercises.

My program currently consists of a 6 day Split. Day 1, I work on Olympic Weightlifting, both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. Day 2, I work on gymnastics, core and arm strength, and I include exercises like ring muscle up progressions, tricep dives and handstand drills. Day 3, I work on 1 Olympic Lift and do a combination of bodybuilding and accessory work for my legs and shoulders. Day 4, I run 5, 8, 10K, do sprints and/or running intervals. Day 5,

I work on strength pull ups and bench press, and mix in some conditioning which targets my pull and pushing upper body muscles. And finally day 6, is a repeat of day 3, with different lifts and conditioning pieces.

I could go into more detail about rep ranges, sets, rest, tempo, etc, but I’m going to let you do a little research and try to figure out how to start to structure your plan, your program, so that you can finally start to train instead of just work out.

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