The number 1 rule to effective program design


One of the most common questions that I get from parents, athletes, and coaches has to do with setting up a proper program.  Often people think it’s as simple as showing them the “magic” program which consists of the magic formula to get them hy-uge, ripped, and “Usain Bolt-like” fast, all while scarfing down some $5 footlongs and 5-hour energy’s (for the early morning workouts of course).  It’s not that simple, and to be honest, it’s simple and at the same time, not all that simple…make sense?  Great.

It’s often said that the best program for you is the one you’re not doing.  Because the body changes and adapts so quickly to new stimulus, it means that your program should be adapted or adjusted frequently (every 3-6 weeks, I prefer 3) so that your body can keep progressing.  The trick with this is that you must change it, but not stray too far away from what your main goal is.  Don’t think that ditching squatting is going to suddenly help you achieve your goal of packing on 30lbs of new muscle-won’t happen.  What you should do to figure out your program is look at what you did before and what you may do after.  That’s what really matters.

What did you do previously?  What will you do next phase?

Each phase is a progression and stepping stone to work to the next phase.  That means that if you’re in phase 2 right now, you need to know what you did phase 1 and what you “plan” on doing in phase 3.  Since your phase 2 plan will bridge the gap between 1 and 3, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to get there.  Your planning can start with something as simple as outlining the major goal: size.  Then you must map out a given macro cycle or period of time (3 months).  In those 3 months I will go through 12 weeks of training or 4, 3-week phases.  I would outline it like this: phase 1: Movement Quality, phase 2: intensification, phase 3: volume, phase 4, volume.  This is just a simple example, but from there I would start choosing sets and reps, and then fill in lifts one phase at a time.

Remember, it’s important that your training build on each successive phase.






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