To understand how to approach exercise planning and strategy, you have to look no further than physical cream of the crop: top-level athletes.
In order to prepare themselves for peak performance, elite athletes and their teams capitalize on their strengths and mitigate weaknesses as effectively as possible.
Need to throw farther?
A combination of exercises strategists will plan strength, conditioning and recovery training plans to build strength and durability in the concerned joints, muscles, and tendons to allow throwing (or any top-tier athletic function) to be a thriving activity for the body.
Need to have stronger knees but don't?
Performance professionals will devise a plan tailored to overcome pain and build strength for improved performance under competitive loads for negatively affected joints and the muscles that support them.
Got injured and need to compete again?
A good exercise professional will be realistic with you about your expectations and plan to regain strength while regaining functional mobility and specific capabilities required by your sport.
You might not compete at an elite level, but you can be at your peak
Conventional knowledge will tell you that whether you're starting new, returning from injury, or exercise regularly and stay active, you need a smart and well-informed plan.
We analyzed the search intent trends for some common search terms on Google and YouTube related to exercise planning over the past five years to understand how users approach their own exercise planning research on the biggest platforms on this subject.
We made two key observations:
Over time, fewer people searching for workout plans prioritized searching for custom plans.
People searching for custom workout and exercise plans typically found the same information everywhere:
define your goals
assess your body composition
assess your movement abilities
assess your fitness level
assess your scheduling
assess your nutrition.
Conclusion: You have the information. You have the drive. You know your why.
But, you might not know that you should aim to custom-fit your exercise so you can capitalize your own body's strengths & weaknesses.
Here are 5 key aspects of personalized and custom fit exercise that will have a positive impact in your health & fitness journey:
Built for your body.
Don't Just Do It. Do it Right For You.
Using a custom-fit exercise plan will impact not just your exercise choices, but also how each one is performed based on your available mobility and strength. Your body's limits and strengths play a significant role in establishing the safety envelope for how to progress through your exercise journey. A thorough understanding of your strengths and available range of motion will be critical in determining which of the many paths will allow you to be consistent in achieving your goals.
Feel Pain? Work around it, not through it. Or, even better: eliminate the root cause of it!
A custom-fit approach can also lead to a more controlled and safe exercise experience resulting in a higher chance of fulfilling your fitness commitment. This means there is less risk of reinjury, and any injured areas can receive proper care during exercise sessions while rebuilding strength and flexibility. Fewer injures mean you can carry on longer with activities you enjoy, and eliminating the root cause of your pain means more exercise progress and staying stronger longer!
Making mobility a priority proactively
Mobility is not one-size fits all.
Mobility only seems to get discussed upon injury nowadays. Before you head to your physiotherapist, taking a custom-fit strategy to understanding and improving your mobility allows you to benefit from a proactive approach. People 40-75+ will often see mobility exercise as a corrective action rather than a preventive one. By spending the time and effort to understand limitations in mobility you will be able to proactively take charge of reducing the likelihood of injuries from athletic and daily life activities.
Improved awareness of joint stability.
If it creaks, don't yank it, but are you listening for it???
There are weighing scales and wearables that can read blood pressure, body-fat percentage, heart rate and daily steps. But, they will not tell you how healthy your joints are. Once you start factoring the current and on-going flexibility and stability of your joints in the end-range, and active range of motion, you will see how your exercise routine has an impact on your body's ability to handle daily challenges as well as meeting your health goals. Yes, your joint health and stability DIRECTLY affects blood pressure, cardiac function, respiration and other major physiological functions.
Better use of data
Measure often. Move better.
The use of data in developing personalized exercise plans presents exciting opportunities to understand where exactly you can capitalize your strength and where your weaknesses need to be worked on. Taking a deeper look at how your body responds to movements you don't repeat on a day to day basis (for example: internal and external rotation of the hips, trunk and spine rotation) allows you to factor in how different postures, movements, and mobility limits will impact your exercise choices. The real art here is identifying how much data should be tracked and what conclusions can be drawn from them.
Personalization is not a new buzz word. But there are levels to this game as well. Its been successful at the elite level for decades, but its now spreading awareness in the regular exercise population. This is exactly where personalization has yet to reach its biggest potential in recreational athletes, exercise enthusiasts, and just everyday people like us. Building exercise plans that utilize information to identify exactly how to capitalize on your strengths and build on weaknesses or limitations is sure to creative effective, efficient and sustainable paths toward achieving your health & fitness goals.