I said nothing about a "see what you can do" attitude. That makes it sounds a little too "golly gee, just try your best, you're still a winner in my book no matter what."
I'm talking about what I've seen to be as a more effective way to establish a consistent gym habit. I'd rather see someone focus on being in the gym for the next 8 weeks every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:30-7:00, regardless of snow, sniffles, or breaking up with a girl, compared to them shooting for five days a week, which increases the opportunities for obstacles to appear, which increases the chances for their willpower and dedication to be tested right off the bat.
I've seen more people build that consistency and momentum by starting with slightly fewer training days and increasing if/when appropriate, compared to people who start hard, fast, and full of fire, and then fizzle. Their goals of wanting to be the biggest, baddest beast in the gym isn't always enough to overcome some of those hurdles.
But really, I think we're focusing on smaller points. plenty, plenty of people have gotten solid results beginning with all sorts of plans - 3, 4, or 5 days a week - the common factors is that consistency, week after week, month after month, and eventually year after year.
Amen to this. The (over)abundance of information is the best and the worst thing to happen to lifters in a long time. It takes a while to develop the filter of what's worth listening to/trying out and what isn't.
Interesting approach. I can definitely see it as a good rule of thumb to start with, eventually with the person figuring out what might need a little more work or a little less.
But don't you think beginners need a little more structure than this? Wouldn't it be more effective to tell them, "A and B on this day, C and D on that day, E and F on this day, G on that day, rest, repeat."? I'd think too much freedom to experiment could also slow a beginner down.