Creating a training program can be enjoyable and anxiety inducing. How do you know if you’ve included everything you need?
There is no ‘best’ program. The subtle variations, like tossing up whether to include pull-ups or chin-ups, have little impact on the outcome.
Another common problem is that training schedules are too rigid. What happens when you miss a day due to illness or a family emergency? Instead of focusing on your health or that of a loved one, your mind is busy developing contingency plans.
Also, following a fixed program can create an inflexible life. Training becomes the number one priority with everything else crammed in around it. When weighing up social engagements your mind first flickers to whether it will impact your training. If it does, you muster up an excuse to free yourself from the commitment, missing an opportunity for growth outside of the gym.
Life is bigger than training and achieving goals in the weight room. The things you miss out on to stick to your routine provide opportunities to develop too.
Allow for flexibility in your training. When creating or following a program, work on the premise that things will come up and you will miss sessions. For example, have your training block be twelve to fourteen weeks in length rather than strictly twelve.
If a weekend trip comes up, go. By prioritising your training, you know what exercises and sessions can be missed without compromising progress.
It’s hard to let go of structure when you believe it’s intrinsically linked with progress. But you have to think long term. Significant progress is made in twelve years not twelve weeks. Don’t compromise your growth as a human just to get in another session at the gym.
Take a look at your training and make it pliable. It should resemble a bamboo tree, able to bend and sway, rather than a concrete pillar, prone to cracking under stress.