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What’s Your Plan?
What’s your plan? It’s a question you should have an answer to every time you head in to the gym. If your plan is to just bounce around and hit whatever you feel like in the moment, you’re spinning your wheels.
A good training plan should have structure, organization, and purpose. How it is structured may depend a lot on the athlete, sport specificity, training age, goals, etc. but there are some general principles that are typically followed. Not only should the day have a plan, but that plan should be a part of a larger plan; think micro- and macro.
What are some general principles? Well, for starters, it’s best to organize your training session to hit the biggest lifts—the ones that demand the most out of your nervous system—first, and when you’re fresh. Again, there are always exceptions to rules, but for your average fitness-goer, this is going to be a good rule of thumb. That might look something like speed strength movements—>absolute strength—>energy system training—>accessory work.
Trying to hit those big lifts at the end of a session? I’m not saying there’s not a place for that, but generally speaking you should train systems so as to get the most return on investment. Hitting the complex movements (snatch, clean and jerk) first lets you get the most out of that session; you’re fresh and your CNS is cooking. Moving into some absolute strength work after that is a good logical next step. Then, those CNS-heavy movements that you did for A and B (or A, B1 and B2, or however it looks) primed your body to do some energy system work. Last, when you’re about toast, you can hit those accessory pieces to really finish off deficient areas, or whatever makes sense pertaining to the athlete.
Don’t be down on yourself if you feel overwhelmed about how to go about structuring your training session—most people have no idea how to do it well! Go to any globo-gym and watch what other people do. Chances are they’re bouncing around and doing a bunch of random stuff they saw someone else do in some illogical order. If you need help structuring your training plan, reach out to a good strength and conditioning coach! We have no problem taking our vehicles to a mechanic when it needs work, so we shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a professional when it comes to our health, safety, and fitness.
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