200420 Economy and Training Effort, they are compatible? Part 1 of 3

200420 Economy and Training Effort, they are compatible

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A. CSCS*D

Are you being efficient in your training or are you just training for the sake of training? Sometimes its nice to go the gym and do a few things just to put the check on the calendar saying you exercised this day, but if its progress you’re looking for then there are better ways to get it done.

Let’s look at a few parts of your training program and see if you’re being as effective as possible:

1. Schedule
2. Needs
3. Exercises
4. Exercise order
5. Rest periods
6. Volume
7. Intensity
8. Duration


Is your schedule compatible with your daily living pattern or is it constantly being changed to meet the needs of the moment. How effective is this? Not very. Set aside a time each day for yourself for self-improvement in both the physical and mental areas of your life. Doing so often enough will make it a habit and one that is much easier on your body and mind than just exercising when ever, when ever happens to happen. Decide on a time of day that you KNOW you can exercise. Many of us cannot control when our day is over. We may have to work overtime, or pick the kids up at Grandma or Grandpa’s house and then stay longer than planned, fix something around the home that has broken, or go to one of our kids athletic events; you know how it goes. On the other hand, most of us can control when we get up each day.

Early morning exercising sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. It gets the brain and the body working as a ‘unit’. Once the exercise session is over, you feel like taking on the world and more than likely will be able to. And it’s a time you know will always be yours.

Needs analysis

Once the schedule is set up, the next step is to decide what areas to improve in your body. Is it the shoulders, the hamstrings, overall strength or mass increase that you need to improve upon? Maybe it’s being able to run faster over the course of a mile, if so this is not the article to learn that. However, increases in strength allow the limbs to move faster so strength enhancements will make you run faster and longer.

Critically look at your body from all angles, take pictures and closely examine them. Do you like what you see? If not, then actively begin to change it to where you do. Start right now and get going by picking out the exercises that will help make those changes take place.

Hint: Be a strict judge and evaluator of what you see in the photographs-ask a trusted friend or your wife to help out. This is not the time to be thin skinned so don’t get defensive about their comments. Just listen and learn.