By now, you know how beneficial strength training can be to your overall fitness and health. And you’re ready to continue progressing with a strength training program.
But there are so many programs to choose from – it can be quite overwhelming when looking for a strength training program that fits your needs and goals.
Don’t stress over finding the perfect strength training routine. The more experience you have with different programs and weight lifting exercises, the more you will know what to look for in a weight-training program.
That is the most important thing to remember The results you get from any strength training program depends on your level of commitment. So be sure to commit 100% to your training no matter which program you choose.
Before starting your search…
Set your goals. Be specific and realistic. Having more specific and Measurable goals It will help you in the selection process.
Know your “why”. Think about why your goals are most important to you. What would change in your life if you achieved them? Knowing your “why” may not help you choose one strength training program over another, but it may influence you more. Level of commitment And the amount of time and money you invest.
Remember: If your main goal is weight loss, focusing on proper nutrition will help you get the results you’re looking for. Weight training is great and can benefit your fitness, but changing your eating habits can have an even more significant impact on your health and goals.
What to Look for in a Strength-Training Program
Since there are so many strength-training programs to choose from, here are some things to consider when finding the right program for you and your personal fitness goals.
It’s easy to be misled by social media photos that show pictures of fitness results that aren’t actually authentic.
Look for a professional fitness program or instructor who has a proven track record of helping clients achieve the same results you want to achieve. And look for instructors or programs with plenty of experience, up-to-date training, and ongoing education.
Look for weight-training programs that demonstrate progression, adding more reps and weight over the course of the program as you progress throughout the duration of the program.
Programs that demonstrate both beginner and advanced versions of weight lifting exercises are great. They show you how to adapt and modify your weightlifting workout to match your fitness level and motivate you by showing you what to try as you progress.
Viewing a list of specific weight lifting exercises for each training day, a weekly schedule, and a video demonstration of the exercises will help you determine if a strength training program is right for you.
The right program will be easy to understand for your level and provide some guidance. The programs do not require a lot of preparation to understand the basics of the workout.
It should be very clear what the program is focusing on and what the goals are.
#7 is well rounded
A weight-training program should target all parts of the body and include structured weight-training exercises Movement patterns – Including pushing, pulling, sitting and hinging.
These movements can be incorporated into many exercises that target upper and lower body strength, including full core fitness.
If you have specific goals that favor one body part — such as a “glutes program” — look for a strength training program that includes a balanced weight lifting routine so you’re still getting a full-body workout.
Example of a strength training program without a full-body approach: A “beach body” program that targets the arms and chest, neglecting lower body strength. Or a “booty” program that focuses on glutes isolation exercises but doesn’t do any progressive strength in full-body movements.
#8 Free weights
Look for a strength training program that focuses on using free weights – barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells – on machines. Machine-only programs are best for beginners as they learn proper movements, but in general, it’s best to use free weights, targeting more muscle groups with each movement.
Above average strength training programs
If you find a strength training program that offers these benefits, consider it an above-average program:
Personal attention – Programs that are planned around your fitness level and goals, provide room for progress and growth, and make the right adjustments based on your feedback.
Unilateral work – Strengthening exercises help your body develop evenly and compensate for weak muscles or areas. Multi-joint exercises — lunges and one-arm presses — are great ways to develop balance and adjust strength levels to help weak sides grow stronger.
Promotes confidence – A good program will increase your confidence and sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency in your training. Over time, you will grow to understand your body more, mastering skills and weight training techniques and progressing from one level to the next, which is amazing progress and should be celebrated!
What to Avoid When Choosing a Strength Training Program
Polarizing language – The person selling or hosting the program says things like “bad” or “unhealthy” and puts a lot of fear into wellness and fitness. If the coaches consider themselves a hero and you feel like you can’t achieve your goals without their help…this is not a good program to choose.
Unrealistic Reviews – Reading feedback from previous program users can help you decide if it’s the right fit, but be aware of fake or compromised conversion stories.
Too much hope – When programs promise fast results or “up to x lbs in 10 days”, it’s not an authentic method. Every body is different, so it is impossible to guarantee specific results based on a universal program.
Before you make a final decision…
By now, you may have a few programs in mind and are debating which one to commit to. Keep these final thoughts in mind as you go through the decision-making process.
Know how much time you can realistically commit to the program. Some programs are set to six days a week, but if you’re free to fit in three workouts a week, choose a program that fits your availability.
Know what kind of equipment is required for the program. Make sure you have the necessary equipment by the time the program begins or that you are able to modify the routine you have access to in a way that still allows you to progress.
Don’t have all the tools?
If you only have two sets of dumbbells and the program is asking you to increase your weight over a 2-3 month period, you should
- Gain extra weight
- Choose an adjustable weight
- Do your exercises at a gym where free weights are readily available
- Add resistance bands to your weights to add more resistance
Know that your performance does not depend on a weight training program. Your success lies in the continuity of your fitness journey and feeling good about prioritizing your health and wellness. Celebrate small wins each week to keep a positive mindset on your road to fitness.
Remember: Fitness is a lifelong journey. This is not a goal that you achieve in just six months and then go back to unhealthy habits. Dedicate yourself to finding new skills to master and new techniques to try Fitness as a lifestyle.