Here are a few concepts, largely revolving around programming, which I thought I would share with you... Nothing revolutionary, but often we need to be reminded of some of the fundamental principles that training should be based upon. I will soon be bringing out a more in depth multi-part article on programming in which most of these points will also feature.
The Only Person who can truly know which programme is going to give you the best results is you. How do you find out? Years of dedicated intelligently planned out training. However do not be the guy who hops from programme to programme without ever really giving any of them a proper chance to give results. Also do not tamper with it or alter the programme in any way. Certainly not unless you have equal or greater experience than the coach who wrote the programme in the first place. Chances are you have not earned the right to, and if you do not get the results you wanted, certainly don’t review the programme negatively unless you have followed precisely.
If your not improving, you’re going backwards. Too often I see people only focussed on a small number of elements to their programme and everything else just gets put in the shadows and neglected. I am talking about things like your assistance exercises which you apparently understand are supposed to aid your main lifts. These assistance exercises need the same focus and dedication as your main lifts. Some of these assistance exercises may not have as much importance to spent any of their life actually building up some real life experience. I’m talking about countless hours, weeks, months, years trying and testing. Learning, accumulating information, dismissing some of it, storing the rest, and implementing all the time so you understand in practice how it all works.
If your not improving, you’re going backwards. Too often I see people only focussed on a small number of elements to their programme and everything else just gets put in the shadows and neglected. I am talking about things like your assistance exercises which you apparently understand are supposed to aid your main lifts. These assistance exercises need the same focus and dedication as your main lifts. Some of these assistance exercises may not have as much importance to you in the great scheme of things but if they didn’t matter at all then they shouldn’t be taking up valuable space in your programme. For example, often I see people throwing in token gestures towards training muscle groups. For example, somebody may understand the concept that they need to achieve some sort of muscular balance in regards to their biceps being relatively strong in relation to their triceps. However too often I see people simply throwing in the same old bicep exercise at the end of their session. The biggest problem is that they put such little importance and emphasis into this part of their session that they never really look to make any real progress. I have seen some people perform curls or rows with a certain weight at the beginning of the year and come the end of the year they are still dealing with the same kind of load. This attitude of ‘its just an assistance exercise, it doesn’t have to be that heavy’ is damaging to progress. You should be looking to make progress in all areas that your programme is designed to improve. If you have included straight bar standing bicep curls and you start the programme with 30kg, then you better be damn sure that by the time you have finished that programme you are at least curling 40kg or 50kg or 60kg (depending on ablility and length of the programme). Remember your main lifts will not get stronger unless you build every other piece of the puzzle as well.