Fitness Programming 101

Understand the why and how behind your program and start designing your own program!

Fitness programming at it’s core is quite simple. Today we’re going to cover the ins and outs of programming, and how to make it easy!

FOUNDATIONAL MOVEMENTS:

There are 5 main movements patterns that we want to incorporate into our gym routine: squat, hinge, push, pull and carry. Every exercise fits into one of these categories, so it’s important that we use all of them when we’re at the gym.

The squat movement pattern includes knee extension, and is a quad dominant movement. During the squat movement pattern you will be bending at the knee.
Squat pattern examples: back squat, front squat, lunges, step-ups and goblet squats.

The hinge pattern is a hip extension movement pattern that is hamstring dominant. Here, you’ll be bending at the hips.
Hinge pattern examples: glute bridges, hip thrusts, Romanian deadlifts and good mornings.

Push and pull are pretty self-explanatory which is nice for our brains! During a pushing movement, you will be pushing weight away from your body and during pulling movements, you’ll be pulling weight toward your body.
Pushing movements work your chest, shoulders and triceps.

Pulling movements work your back and your biceps.

Carries are extremely underused and under-appreciated. They’re great for strengthening your core throughout functional movements as well as improving posture and stability. A carry is simply holding something in your hand(s) and either standing or walking with it.

You can do carries in a number of ways; one arm, two arms, standing, walking, overhead, suitcase or farmer’s carry. There are tons of options.

PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD

When it comes to your fitness programming, progressive overload is a systematic way of increasing a number of variables in order to add stress to your muscles, thereby increasing their size and strength. Some variables that you can adjust include your reps, sets, rest period or weight you’re lifting.

You don’t need to make gigantic leaps and bounds with any of these variables; you just need to continue adjusting them. For example if you start an exercise at 10 reps, next time you’ll want to do them at 12 reps. If you start at 3 sets, next time try 4 sets.

The idea here is simply to progressively overload your muscles so that they continue to strengthen and grow. This also keeps your muscles from getting accustomed to the weight and rep scheme. Our muscles are great at adapting, and that’s they last thing we want!

TIPS + TRICKS:

  1. Starting off can be really hard, I know, but the easiest way to create change is to make a change. Simply show up to the gym and get a little sweat on. You don’t need to be in the gym for 2 hours in order to see results; you just need to move!
  2. If you’re not sure how to use a machine or they make you a little nervous then don’t use them! I truly believe your body is the best machine there is, so use it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help either; be brave, you got this!
  3. Remember that everyone in that gym had their first day at some point. They felt silly and like they had no idea what they were doing too. Write down a few exercises that look fun, throw on a hat and some tennis shoes and GET IT GURL!

Let me know how your first day went! Need more guidance in the gym? snag my upper or lower guides. Looking for help getting started on your health journey? Grab my Guide to Getting Started!

Shine Bright!
Cait

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