One thing many people learn after training for a number of years; you need to train yourself based on your body and your personal goals. What does that mean exactly? Basically it means that you are an individual who knows what you want and what works. The perfect workout program for you more than likely will not be perfect for anyone else.
A nice thing about training a lot of the years is that usually you have tried lots of programs and exercises. The biggest benefit you get is learning how your body responds to these things. For example you might learn that you always need two days off after squat day because of how drained you are. Or you might find that dumbbell bench presses are much more effective for you than barbell bench presses because structurally they put less pressure on your shoulders joints. Everyone’s body is different and not everything will work the same.
But, you need to make sure you actually utilize that information.
Why do you do what you do?
After you move to the intermediate and advanced phase of working out you should be very conscious of exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it. There should be no more, “I hope this program works…” If you don’t feel an exercise doesn’t work for you then why do it? Perhaps you have realized that doing the Stairmaster is always a bad workout because you have no motivation. If so then why do you waste time doing that instead of finding something new?
What are your current goals? Are you looking to get into better shape specifically to excel at a sport? Is weight loss you goal? Maybe you want to add muscle and tone up to look better. No matter what the reason, it is your reason and your goal. You fitness program should reflect that goal and be helping you get there.
Question and Answer!
If you don’t like something either don’t do it or make sure you are doing it right. Question everything about your routine. Strip it down to the bare bones and then put it back together making sure to analyze each piece to the puzzle while asking, “Is this the best option to get me to my personal goal?”
Maybe you will find some flaws in the plan or realize some of what you are doing isn’t as productive as other things. Of course you should always keep looking for new methods and ideas. Change is good and tinkering with a workout plan is not only fun but very productive. The body adapts pretty quickly so you need to counter that by adapting your training. That means taking a critical look at what works and doesn’t work and fixing the broken parts.
Let’s say you have done the same chest routine for a year. Maybe you weight totals haven’t gone up in a few months. Obviously something is broken in that routine unless your goal is to maintain your current strength level and muscle size. So analyze the situation and find a better way.
Never Stop Evaluating
Your needs will change over time; it is inevitable. My fitness goals at 18 were far different from 28 and both of those are very far from what I want to accomplish at 38. Usually I like to evaluate what my goals are every month and see how I things are progressing to get there. If everything is moving forward nicely not much changes, but when walls arise then I need to take a good long look at the process and see what is holding me back from being where I want to be. Then it is a matter of making changes and getting back on the road towards my personal goal.
So what about you? Are you training for your needs? Or are you just following a program and going through the motions hoping it will work?