Summer is just around the corner, which for many means the start of exercise. Whether you’ve just decided to go to the gym for the first time or you’re an experienced exerciser, the question that many people ask is – which training program should you follow or which one should you switch to after you’ve already done it?

There are several factors to consider before you start exercising, and below are some tips to save time and get you to your goals faster, whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or both.

What level are you at?

If you’ve been weight training for a few years, a beginner’s program won’t help you much. On the other hand, if you’re still new to the gym, moving up to an advanced program might be too demanding.

Below is a rough outline of how to determine where you are in your fitness journey based on your time and experience, but you don’t have to stick to it. If you’ve made significant progress after nine months and want to try a more advanced level, feel free to go for it. If you feel you need more time to study after a year, that’s fine too.

Beginner – 0-12 months
Intermediate level – 1-3 years
Advanced level – 3 years and above

It is important to realistically assess your current fitness level when choosing a training program. If you are a beginner, it may be best to start with a beginner-friendly training program and gradually increase it as you progress. If you are already an experienced exerciser, you can focus on more advanced programs that will challenge you at a higher level.

What are your goals?

The first step in choosing a training program is to clearly define your goals. Do you want to build muscle mass, increase your endurance, lose weight or improve flexibility? Each of these goals requires a different approach to training. Setting goals will help guide your selection of training programs and allow you to focus on what you really want to achieve.

One of the most common answers that fitness professionals encounter is: “I want to lose fat and get bigger and stronger at the same time.” Namely, the fact is that we all want that, that is, if there was a program that would achieve all of this at the same time, everyone would do it, wouldn’t they? Very few people on this planet can burn fat, build muscle and get stronger at the same time.

Realistic goals should be set in order of priority after objectively assessing what is most important to you. There are four main categories that are important for developing your physique and athletic performance, and they are:

Building muscle
Fat loss
Power increase
Improving stamina

Arrange these categories in that order so that you put the one that is most important to you first.

Your schedule

The schedule is also an important factor when choosing a training program. Think about the time constraints and obligations in your daily life. If you’re short on time, a high-intensity training program that can be done in a shorter period of time may work for you. If you prefer longer workouts, you can choose a training program that requires more time.

Once you’ve determined your experience level, chosen a place to train, and set goals, set a time and find a program that best fits your schedule. For example, if you can devote four days a week to exercise, choose a program based on that number.

Don’t forget that consistency and the right choice of training program is key to achieving long-term results. If you are unsure, always consult a professional to help you choose the training program that is best for you.

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