Your training plan in 6 steps – Zimo Tam explains how it works

Are you surprised when you don’t reach your self-defined goals despite all those hours of sports every week? Training without a proper plan usually doesn’t bring the desired results.

A structured training plan that’s tailored to the goals of the individual is THE central criterion for success. We ask personal trainer Zimo Tam from the blog “Fitness Agony” how it works…

Working with a good personal trainer is a highly effective way to achieve your goals. He or she has an outside perspective and can see things you don’t notice at all.

But not everyone has the money for regular personal training, so pay attention to this if you want to create a training plan by yourself.

Define your goals

To create your training plan, you should know what your goals are. Do you want to improve your strength, your endurance or even both? Do you want to lose fat or build muscle mass? Define your goals before you start creating your training plan.

Define your training days

Think about which days of the week you have time to train. You should train at least 2, or even better 3 days per week to achieve good results. That way you can make best use of the principle of supercompensation in your training.

You should have at least 1 day off between training sessions to allow your body to regenerate and avoid overtraining.

Create a training plan

Beginners should start with a full body training plan. This means that during a training session you’ll use as many muscles in your body as possible. So make sure you train your legs, chest, abdomen, back, arms and shoulders equally during each workout.

1. repetitions and sets

The terms “repetitions” and “sets” often cause confusion for beginners. The number of repetitions tells you how often you have to do an exercise in a row. The number of sets tells you how often you have to do the number of repetitions.

How many sets and repetitions you should do depends entirely on your goals. In most cases, strength training distinguishes between maximum strength (the greatest possible individual strength), relative strength training (60-80% of individual maximum strength) and strength endurance training (from 30-50% of individual maximum strength).

Depending on whether your goal is muscle building or strength endurance, you should train with a different number of repetitions.

Maximum strength training: 2 to 6 repetitions
Relative strength training: 6 to 12 repetitions
Strength endurance training: 12 to 18 repetitions

During each of these training forms you should perform 1 to 2 warm-up sets to activate your muscles and joints and prepare them for the upcoming load. Then follow 3 sets with your training weight.

2. break times

In addition to sets and repetitions, the pause times between each set are also important.

Maximum strength training: 2 to 3 minute break
Relative strength training: 1 to 2 minute break
Strength endurance training: 30 seconds to 1 minute break

3. exercise selection

Define fixed exercises that you do at each training session. This way you don’t run aimlessly through the gym, but know exactly which stations you have to go to. Also make a note of how much weight you’ve already used to complete each exercise. 

4. increase 

Once a training plan is created, it’s never 100% set in stone. To improve your training, you have exactly two possibilities: First, you can regularly increase your training weight when training with dumbbells or machines.

Secondly, you can increase the number of repetitions or include a more difficult variant of the same exercise in your training plan.

5. intensity

No matter which training form you choose, in order to improve, you must always train at your performance limit. At the beginning it’s difficult to find this performance limit.

As a rough guide, you should always choose your training weight so that you can just about manage all the repetitions in the last set with maximum effort.

6. renew your training plan

After a certain time your initial success in training will begin to plateau. The fast muscle growth gradually decreases and you’ll stagnate. That’s a good time to reconsider your training plan.

When exactly this time comes varies from person to person. As a rough guideline, you can assume that it makes sense to change your training plan every 2 to 3 months to avoid a habituation effect on the muscles.

As you can see, even without a personal trainer it’s easy to create a training plan that will help you reach your personal goals quickly. Do you need more training and nutrition tips? Then visit Zimo Tam’s fitness blog.

Click here to discover studios for optimal fitness training all over Europe.

If you want to review, how to train sit ups, lunges, squats and crunches properly, click here.

Are you undecided, when it’s the best time to train-in the morning or in the evening? Here you can get tips.

Pictures © Stephan Tischmann

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