The Perfect Training Plan- “Suitable without deviations”
The perfect training plan is arguable but lets take a moment to discuss perefection. Perfection and art are almost inseparable concepts forged together through the aisles of history and its many cultures. The ancient Greeks considered art as the ultimate pursuit of perfection. The Pythagoreans considered perfection as a harmonious balance between forces. While Plato said… It must be “suitable, accurate and just, without deviations” – in other words, perfect.
Today, we are striving for our own representation of perfection, through the art of programming. We will reconcile the thoughts of our ancestors with the concerns of today, in developing the “perfect” program. This program must be harmonious, balanced, accurate and just… Without deviations. It needs to be able to balance training with recovery. It must take a holistic approach to personal development. It must use all the tools at our disposal. It must consider the needs of our brain, our psyche, as well as our body.
I must state this will not be the perfect program for fat loss, or muscle gain, or strength development or any of those things. For a program like that would not fit with the classical view of perfection. This program is going to be one that considers all elements of the being, and looks to improve them simultaneously. Beware, this is just the blue print, as the specifics will change from person to person, but by in large this outline is designed to be “perfect”.
A few key elements.
In any perfect program we need to consider the elements that it is aiming to improve. As mentioned, this is looking to develop the person as a ‘whole’ rather, than just one element of them. As such, there are three main categories I am going to consider in this program: Physical, Aesthetic and Mental Benefits.
Obvious isn’t it? …The one people call “fitness”. For the sake of this program we are considering physical benefits anything that will improve the physical health of the body. This might be improving cardiorespiratory health but also includes things such as reinforcing the bones and muscles through strength development.
This is the one most people put at the fore front when pursuing exercise. Aesthetics basically comes down to two elements, fat loss and muscle gain. For those after fat loss, exercise must be intended to “burn” energy. Those after muscle gain must be more concerned with muscle breakdown – I understand the paradox in what I just said, but muscle break down (aka hypertrophy for natural exercisers) during a session causes overcompensation in recovery and ultimately leads to a larger muscle.
Mental clarity and energy
I would call this the money maker. In my opinion this is where the greatest benefits from exercise truly come from. Exercise is great for the brain and should be considered essential for anyone who wants their brain working at top levels – ie. Everyone. There are two trains of thought here, cardio and power training. Cardio is largely beneficial for its release of brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) which stimulates the growth of new brain cells. While power training is largely responsible for the myelination of our nervous system through the release of glial derived neurotropic factor (GDNF). Nervous system myelination is what increases the speed at which our neurons can communicate with each other, thus increasing myelination increases our nervous system as a whole.
Justification of the Perfect Training Plan
Monday and Thursday
We are starting the week of our perfect training plan with power training. Power training has many benefits and in the sense of this program it is specifically intended to improve your mental performance, energy levels and muscle strength while also improving your fitness. We do it Monday and Thursday as it is when you have just had a recovery and/or rest day, therefore you will be most fresh and ready to perform on these days.
Tuesday and Friday
Tuesdays and Fridays are going to be strength training. Strength training has many benefits including muscle development, cardiovascular development, bone strengthening and is even good for fat burning. This day you can modify depending on your goals, if it is fat loss you are after, make your strength training program on this day a circuit where you have very little rest. If you are more interested in muscle gain and pure strength, keep the rests longer and lift heavy weights. This fits in here as you can perform it after a day of power without any significance hindrance from the previous session.
Wednesday and Saturday
Wednesdays and Saturdays are for recovery, but not rest. Ideally this would be something like swimming as it is low impact on the joints, keeps the blood flowing, stimulants neurotropic factors within the brain and burns through some energy and basically comes with zero downside. But, as swimming pools are closed at the moment bike riding is just as good an option; further alternatives include rowing, using an elliptical, a moderate paced walk or even yoga.
Sunday is when you can rest completely. This would not be a bad time to try get outside of the house, it might look very similar to your Wednesday and Saturday but it does not need to be a specific session. Getting down to Morialta, or a local park to just get outside and spend some time recuperating should have you ready to go again come Monday.
There you have it: balance, harmony, beauty… perfection in the form of programming. A perfect mix of cardio, power and strength training. The ideal balance between improving the mind and improving the body. Whenever you are in need of a guide to structuring your workouts, use this guide, for it is suitable, just and accurate, without deviations.