A Sensible Look at Planning, Executing, and Recording Your Health Related Fitness Program

Suppose you know a little about working out and partake in the odd training session. But what if you recently felt a compelling urge to get serious about your physical exercise program and really “shape up”. How would take it to the next level?

Well, since we are talking about Health-Related Fitness, we need to bear in mind that it is a physical condition which consists of 5 integral components, relating to “good health.” These include:

  • Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Body Composition
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Flexibility

A glimpse at these components will easily tell you that you will need to devise or obtain a workout program which primarily allows for aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Simply put, that means training to enhance the capacity of your heart-lung function and the major muscles of the body. Training would also extend to adequately address biomechanical functions in terms of improving overall mobility of the joints and the tone of connective tissue. Finally, body composition is an important indicator and predictor of health and/or the risk of illness – depending on whether you lead an active or a sedentary lifestyle. Through the requisite workout routines and nutrition plan, one’s body composition will reflect a desirable ratio.

In short, it is desirable to augment lean body mass by optimizing muscle condition while lowering the level of body fat via a proper nutrition plan and aerobic exercise.

Now that we have a framework idea of what is entailed to enhance our physical condition and improve our health, we could jump right in and start working out, right? In a manner of speaking yes, but having made the commitment to get “stuck in” and transform our bodies, does not automatically mean we are going to reach our objective. We need a game plan.

Let us consider for a moment how one would successfully voyage through unchartered waters. The answer is relatively simple, but there is a catch: only once you have chosen a destination and a time-frame, do you take out a map, plan your route, prepare your journey and set off. That metaphor applies similarly when it comes to transforming your body, so take heed of the following important points:

  • Know what your goal or objective is

(in this case visualizing your changed body in three months’ time – if that is your intended program window). Without direction, merely training and presuming you will somehow succeed along the way will give the same results as I once had – precious little.

  • Carefully read through the training and nutrition principles of your chosen program
  • and familiarize yourself with the required fitness activities for the applicable duration. As I often reiterate, especially to individuals under my guidance, it is most useful to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the many topics associated with the health and physical fitness industry, by reading as widely as possible.

  • Decide whether you will train in your own home or in a fitness center
  • , as this will influence your weight workout techniques (related to muscular strength and endurance training). The aerobic exercise on the other hand, can be done in a gym or on the road, track or sports field. If you decide to do the weight-training at home, you will need to invest in some basic equipment like a set of adjustable dumbbells, a barbell, as well as a bench, etc. I would however recommend, if you are a beginner, to consider utilizing a fitness center (or gym) at first. That way you can eventually set up a home gym understanding more clearly the minimum apparatus requirements for effective training, along with the space required for this option.

  • The preparation part of the journey entails one small daily procedure. You may think of this as a drag or a banality – do not make that mistake. It is of utmost importance to plan your meals and workout routines ahead of time. A simple 10-minute procedure the day before is all it takes. You may eventually find, after completing your program, that you can make it up as you go along. While you could do this to an extent with your meals, it is far more difficult to ad-hoc the exercise part, and still get results. This holds true whether you are on a “cutting up” cycle (shedding weight to enhance definition), building phase or simply on a maintenance program.
  • Your success will be highly contingent on recording your daily activities and weekly progress. As an additional measure, you could also consider having periodic pictures taken of yourself, for example at monthly intervals. Not only does this help you to see where you have made (or still have to make) improvements, it is also an excellent way to keep your motivation high. A detailed training log will also allow you to gauge when and how to make incremental adjustments to your program activities. Tracking your activities is vital to help you stay on course.
  • Lastly, once per week also check and record your weight and body fat measurements. Do not obsess about doing this on a daily basis though, weekly values will show a truer indication of your physical change. I usually do mine on Sunday evenings and include a careful self-inspection using a mirror. To keep a check on my body fat level, I also perform a skin-fold pinch about an inch above the hip bone. Another practical progress-indicator is the “fit” of your clothes around your waist and buttocks. Keep in mind that the bathroom scale merely shows an overall body weight. Far more important is increasing your muscle to fat ratio, which does not necessarily mean that the scale will be the all-important indicator of your progress, or a companion during your journey.
  • There you have it – a brief take-home checklist to help you successfully plan and execute your Health-Related Fitness body transformation program. To cite an oft-used proverb, he who fails to plan, plans to fail.

    Make the most of your endeavor and leave as little as possible to chance. Good luck.