When first starting your journey in the fitness world, it can be easy to dive right into a rigid training regime that you have been given or that someone you know is doing, and stick to it thinking that it is going to allow you to achieve your goals.

But one of the key things you learn over the years training is that individuality and independence in training is important. What I mean by that is, use your first few years training to experiment. Experiment with different training techniques, styles, exercises, indoor/outdoors, find what works for you.

You’ll find that the training methods you most enjoy are pretty much tailor-made to help you achieve your overall fitness goals – e.g. if you desire speed and explosive power, then you will most likely enjoy a sprinter-esque running and strength training program. Make your own choices when it comes to YOUR fitness.

Experiment with different training partners if you can. I know this one can be tricky because you may be training with a friend and you don’t want to let them down, but something as simple as training with someone else will be enough to expand your knowledge of training – because they are bound to have made mistakes that you haven’t and teach you how to avoid them. Learn as much as you can in the beginning, so that you are more knowledgeable and prepared in the future.

Now, I believe the best way to make progress and achieve a better physique is through a structured training regime where progress can be easily monitored and recorded. But this shouldn’t be in place of ignoring all other training methods and exercises, some of which you may find much more helpful in achieving your goals. The truth is, a beginner is going to make pretty steady progress towards their goals if they are training in the correct manner regularly, but there seems to be this feeling that exercise should be all about short-gains and never looking at the big picture. I know, I was the same. I thought I must stick rigidly to a certain program for a certain amount of time or I would never achieve what I wanted.

But then I realised that there were other exercises and techniques that suited my goals, personality but most of all, enjoyment much better. And once I found a way of incorporating them into my routine, I found overall progress much easier to come by. I realised that, all being well, I am going to be training in some form or another for the rest of my life and that everything will, eventually end up where I want it to be.

Somewhere out there, there is the perfect training for everyone.

We owe it to ourselves to find it !

Martin Barrett

Smokin’ Guns Fitness

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