After the personal questionnaire has been completed, the training program can be designed in the following order and based on these considerations. In the first week of training, exercisers are introduced to the apparatus. It is important for beginners to try out equipment that is relatively easy to operate without special knowledge or technical skills.
This should include a comprehensive explanation of operating instructions and safety procedures. Emphasis should be on proper structured performance, rather than on intensity.
Recommended apparatus for this purpose are: exercise bike or treadmill, upper pulley, chest press, and knee extensors and flexors. The work on these apparatus activate large rather than small muscle groups and, therefore, avoids causing premature fatigue. In addition to performing the exercise, exercisers should understand the aim of the activity, and the relationship between the work and health benefits.
Only after they have acquired basic knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the apparatus operates can they work with instructors to set goals and decide on appropriate exercises. When planning an annual training program for professional athletes, training should be divided into four seasons according to the principle of progression: preparation, transition, competition, and off-season.
During the preparatory season, the emphasis is on building general fitness. The transition season should allow for a gradual shift from the emphasis of the preparatory season to that of the competitive season. During the competitive season, emphasis is placed on the specific activity performed in competition.
Off-season provides time for physical and mental rest from the specific training, while continuing with some sort of activity that keeps physical fitness a “glowing ember” that can be “reignited” next season. Balance should be a central consideration in building a training program. One important type of balance assures a correct mix of activity intensity and fitness components.
The most common mistake made by many instructors is to emphasize a certain fitness element, especially strength or cardiovascular capacity, while downplaying or ignoring other fitness elements (flexibility, coordination, and agility). Flexibility enables us to express our movement abilities properly and reduces risk factors for injury (cramps).
Coordination and agility are reflected in everyday functioning and affect a person’s image. It is also important to maintain a balance in muscle tone between frontal and posterior muscles. Lack of balance is visible in posture disorders such as kyphosis (sunken shoulders and round back).
A lack of balance between upper and lower parts of the body take the form of “chicken legs,” that is exaggerated chest and arms atop spindly legs. To summarize, lack of balance can be both visible and functional. Once it has been decided that the training