What to Look for When Choosing a Fitness Program


Among the few silver linings of being stuck at home is the country’s sudden interest in working out and staying fit. It’s fuelled an already thriving occupation, which was projected to grow by 15% from 2019 to 2029. Yoga instructors, strength and conditioning coaches, and other fitness professionals have managed to stay busy over the past few months with their clients demanding more accessible workouts they can do at home. But with the rise of experts also comes a growing number of fitness programs to choose from. Picking the right one when there is a myriad of options can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know what exactly to look for. We’ve come up with a list of questions that can help you choose the right training program for you:

Is the fitness instructor qualified?

As mentioned, the demand for qualified professionals in the health and fitness space is steadily increasing. Yet with so many “experts” out there how can you know who to follow? The best way is to take a look at their background. Look for degrees, diplomas, official fitness training courses, and work experience. It is also best to dispel preconceived notions of educational institutes and courses. Today, many instructors will have gotten their education and training online due to the increasing need for people to study in their own time through flexible courses. Those with an online degree in exercise science will study the same key foundations as a traditional course, including exercise prescription, strength and conditioning, and nutrition. You just need to check that the person offering the program has proof of their education, and research to see whether it is a reputable institute, degree, or course.

Does it align with your goals?

The goal setting process is the foundation of training of any kind. It can be something general like lose fat and build muscle, get stronger, improve athleticism, or a combination of all. You can also set more specific goals such as building muscle symmetry to avoid sports injury, which you can do with a range of isometric exercises. Maybe you want to get faster at running, build upper body strength or, more specifically, do 50 pull-ups in a row. Determining your goals, whether general or specific, helps to narrow down your choices of exercises you should be doing.

What kind of equipment and facilities does it require?

Not everyone has access to gyms, studios, and equipment. Keep this in mind when choosing a program or making your own as you might have to adjust your workouts to suit the tools available. For example, use resistance bands to replace weights or do sprints on the street or on a treadmill if the track is closed.

Will you be needing support?

Some people use their workout sessions as time for self-care and would like to be left alone. Some stay motivated with an accountability partner or a coach who can show them the ropes. Meanwhile, some people push harder in group workouts and attend classes that can keep them stimulated and competitive. It’s a personal preference. Consider how much support you will be needing because it can be a key factor to your success.

How will you measure progress?

A lot of people train for a competition or an event, which is what they use as a timeline for their program. Maybe you want to train for a road race in three months, a sports competition in three weeks, or an upcoming rock climbing trip with your friends in the summer. Those give you specific dates that you can build your training around. Even without these events, it’s still a good idea to find a program with a given timeline to check if you’re on track to reach your goals. Experts recommend measuring body fat percentage changes as well as cardiovascular endurance and strength rather than weight loss. After an eight-week program, track how these numbers have changed, or how much your sleep and food habits have changed which are also good measures of progress.

Is it enjoyable?

The last and most important question is: is it enjoyable? You need to consider how a training program will fit into your lifestyle — will it make you feel stressed or will it give you more energy? For it to be sustainable, exercise should never feel like a punishment. Another good way to check if a program is effective is if it genuinely gives you satisfaction from doing it and it improves the other aspects of your life.

Looking for a fitness program that works for you doesn’t have to be so complicated after all. A tool that ticks all of these boxes — and one that can help you get on the right track with your fitness goals — is Activ5. This isometric-based strength training device provides workouts designed by leading trainers, which are personalized to your fitness level and goals. As a portable and tech-enabled fitness tool, Activ5 is the perfect way to maintain motivation even with a busy schedule and measure sustainable progress over time.

Written by Anne Chinee Serene
Exclusive for products.activbody.com