Developing a personal fitness training program

Part 2: Developing a personal fitness training program

There’s too much information and too many opinions regarding fitness training to make easy sense of it all. Still, developing a personal fitness training program doesn’t have to send us into a tailspin. While each one of us has different starting points, fitness levels, goals, etc., we know enough to do this right. It might be personal, but there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to go about it.

A good start might be to check out what’s available in your local area. Do a resource check. Here are examples of the types of mountaineering-specific programs that exist, from loose collections of information to professional coaching. Spend an evening browsing the web to find out what’s available in your area.

The second part of a sensible start includes evaluating your current fitness level. Depending on your health and fitness, this might include a medical check-up with your physician and an initial discussion with a physical fitness trainer.

  • If you are healthy and fit, plan on 3 to 6 months of sport-specific fitness training. Consider a medical check-up and the guidance of a fitness trainer a solid move for focusing your training.
  • If you are healthy but unfit, plan on 6 to 18 months of fitness training. Consider a medical check-up and the guidance of a fitness trainer a wise option.
  • If you are unhealthy and unfit, plan on 12 to 24 months for fitness training. Consider a medical check-up and the guidance of a fitness trainer mandatory.

Next, you’re ready to set your goals and develop a timeline for accomplishing them. While this may seem rather tedious (and perhaps initially overwhelming), a simple systematic approach is all that is needed. The good news is that you are expected to make adjustments and update your goals along the way, so don’t get too bogged down in the details. In part 3 of this fitness series, fitness coach John Colver offers simple advice on how to set your goals.

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