Jan 06

I’m a trainer with all kinds of certifications and experience. I design dozens of workouts a week and dozens of workout programs a month for all kinds of people with all kinds of goals and limitations.

But I don’t design my own workouts.

Or I try not to.

Here’s why: no matter how hard I try, when I design my own workouts, I wind up catering to my strengths, ignoring things I hate, and-or just doing things the way I’ve always done them, with the same, middling results.

What I like to do instead is to grab a program that I haven’t done yet designed by a coach I respect–there are so many of them–tack it up on my wall, and do it for a month or three or however long the program lasts. Whenever I do that–I get great results and start thinking that coach x or y or z is the BEST and WHY DID I EVER LISTEN TO ANYONE ELSE?

That’s my intention, anyway, In practice, I usually keep going on the program, past its efficacy point. I wind up doing a four week program for eight weeks. And it stops working, just as the coach who wrote it knew it would, and warned me that it would. But I’d made such great progress that usually I keep on it till I hurt something or till I just can’t take it anymore.

And then, finally, I find a new program with totally different parameters and switch over, usually begrudgingly, expecting to lose everything I’d gained in the previous program because the old coach said “You have to do five sets of three on squats,” and the new one says “skip heavy back squats altogether.”

And of course the new thing works brilliantly, because my body is craving the new stimulus.

…and I’ll think aha, what a great program, coach x or y or z is the BEST and WHY DID I EVER LISTEN TO ANYONE ELSE? And the cycle begins anew.

At least I recognize my mistakes. And encourage you to learn from them. So:

1 ) Don’t design your own workouts.

2) Assuming you’re training for fitness, and not for performance in some athletic in endeavor, change things up–radically–every month. Seriously. Go from low rep focus to high rep focus. Low volume to higher volume. Lots of slow, heavy exercises to lots of light, explosive exercises. High cardio to sprints to no cardio.

3) Don’t fall into the rut of thinking what has worked in the past will keep working. The best workout program in the world stops working after awhile, and you have to do something else.

4) Sometimes things work that everyone says won’t work, doesn’t work, and for all intents and purposes shouldn’t work–usually because your body just needs the new stimulus.

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply