Train safe - Part 2 / 2

This week we take a look at how to structure a training session so it is safe and effective.

Far too often, people go to the gym with no real plan or direction. They mix clap push ups with conditioning, or they don’t warming up comprehensively before going into heavy lifting.

Most of the time this lack of direction makes one feel unaccomplished after a training session. Some times, it leads to injury because there is a good chance a fatigued body won’t perform complex movements correctly.

Please note that this is a very general approach and there is a lot more detail when it comes to individual cases - but, if you are thinking of hitting the gym between christmas and new year and you’re looking for a bang for your buck type session including both strength and conditioning, here is a pretty simple approach.


Warm up

I mean, duh - but actually think about it. DO your specific mobility exercises (focus on hips, thoracic spine, shoulders and ankles). DO your specific muscle activation (glutes, abdominals and scaps are a great starting point). Take the time, particularly because you might be bouncing back from a food coma, or probably hungover.


Fast first

If you want to do jumps, slams or your amazing clap push ups - do them straight after your warm up. This way, you’re fresh and ready to hit them with quality form and less chance of you getting it wrong (it’s not good getting plyometrics wrong). They will stimulate your nervous system and have you feeling good.


Fast heavy next.

If you want to train Olympic lifts or any derivatives for that matter, now is the time to include them. As mentioned before, at this state there is little fatigue so getting the complex high risk lifts done is a good idea.


Heavy lifting

Weights is next. After banging through your warm up, plyos and potentially some olympic lifts, your body will be primed to lift heavy and lift well. Now is when you throw in your big lifts such as squat, bench, lunges etc. You shouldn’t be too fatigued and you certainly will be warm.


Isolated/accessory strength

Time to go after your isolated strength exercises. Think gymnastic accessories, preventative or rehab isolations and core work.



Now is time to get stuck in to your conditioning/HIIT.


Down regulation

Foam rolling, breathing drills, whatever you like really. Just take time to slow down and let the endorphins kick in. You’ll enjoy them way more, particularly if you’re on holiday.

So don’t go missing over the break. Make time to train 3/4times and you won’t lose too much of the hard work you’ve put in all year.