A sound and systematic exercise programme is vital to getting the results you want without getting injured or wasting your valuable time. There is a difference between just doing ‘workouts’ and partaking in a structured exercise ‘programme’.

A workout consists of a single series of exercises that is done in one session, whereas a programme is a series of successive workouts done over a period of time – usually 8-10 weeks. For example, a workout session is like taking a group fitness class and a programme is like a series of personal training sessions.

A group fitness class is a series of general exercises often choreographed to music to work your entire body. It may not be the best for you since the exercises are generalised – by this I mean, not specific to your individual goals. An exercise programme, however, is designed with the intent to address your own individual goals and preferences.

You don’t necessarily have to hire a personal trainer to take on an exercise programme. It can however be very helpful to hire a trainer for their expertise to design a programme for you based on your needs, goals and possible limitations.

There are three crucial components to an exercise programme: technique, consistency, and intensity – in that order.

Technique for Safe and Effective Exercise. First, you must learn the proper form for each exercise. It is a must to know how to execute the exercise with correct form, how to control your repetition speed and range of motion of the exercise. Proper form assures that you are exercising efficiently and safely.

Consistency for Long Lasting Results. Exercising consistently is what allows you to improve and maintain good form. Consistency also leads to continued improvements and gains. If you are not consistent and miss several days, it can cause you to lose your momentum and plateau your progress.

Intensity for Further Progression. Only after you master proper technique and you are consistent with that form do you want to start incorporating what we call intensity manipulations. Changing the exercises or exercise order, doing more sets or repetitions, combining two or more exercises back-to-back, and doing other advanced forms of exercise concepts are examples of increasing exercise intensity.

At the AUT Millennium Gym, our Everyday Champion Programme is a free service we provide all our members which offers you a programme and not just a workout. Our programme focuses on your goals and takes into account any limitations you may have, creating an exercise programme that will give you great results. So, make the effort and come to the Gym reception desk and schedule your first of seven appointments.

*If you have any suggestions for future weblog topics, please contact Robert Garza, Senior Consultant and Programming Specialist at rgarza@autmillennium.org.nz

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With over 30 years in the fitness industry I offer an opportunity of making usable sense of often confusing research and technical science to exercise enthusiasts. My background in exercise biomechanics allows me to teach safe and effective exercise that is also time-efficient so you don’t waste your valuable time trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t for your body type and structure.

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