T Nation

Creating My Own Program?


hey guys! Im relatively new to weight lifting (been taking this seriously for 6 months) and i wanted your opinions on how to make your own program. For the time being i am on a strength program that i found and that lots of people recommend for begginers but after this i won’t always be able to find good, tested programs and cant stick to one program forever. So i want to ask you if there are any cues and tips that you can give me, i want to make a bodybuilding push-pull-legs program and a fullbody-ish strength program. Thanks in advance, every answer is appreciated!


Why not?


And this

Are generally not very compatible.

There are plenty of very good, proven programs that fit your requirements. Why not find and use those?


Why not?


I’d suggest reading the articles posted on T-nation as a weekly ritual. You’ll learn enough to write your own programs.

When I was a dumb kid I did the same program for six years and got big enough for women to forgive me for my personality and bullies to leave me alone. How big do you want to get?

But if I have any rule, it is balance. Squats and dead lifts balance each other (but I don’t usually do them on the same day). Your pressing exercises must be balanced with pulling along the same plane of motion. You should do good mornings for your lower back and some ab exercises so they can work together well, too.


Make an effort to read around the website. LOaads here:


what are you refering to?

I know there are and i will do just that, im thinking about later in the future, i want to be independent, not rely on somebody else for my program, plus, if i know what makes a program good then i will know why the program i am doing is good and be able to personalise it if necessary (ex. more rear delt exercises if i’m constantly hunched, without putting in too much volume)

Thank you, i’ll probably do just that!

at the moment, for every pushing movement i do 2 pulling ones, working on my forward neck, apt and general mobility, my body is currently a mess.

Thanks for your time and answers people!


the reason beginners are usually cautioned against writing their own programs is they generally make 2 mistakes:

-only training their chest and arms
-copying the ludicrously high volume approach of a professional bodybuilder

Both are bad for obvious reasons, but if you’re not a complete idiot about it then there’s no reason why you can’t design your own program.

Being a massive narcissist, I shall use myself as an example:

-I am a very torso-dominant lifter, in that I get much more activation of my torso muscles than my limbs on upper body compounds, so I need to program more arm work.
-My lower back sucks huge dicks so I need to be mindful of exercises that won’t put a lot of stress on my lumbar spine

So those two considerations (and there’s loads more I’m too lazy to type) mean that a pre-written program that was heavy on spinal loading exercises (like squats and deads) would bury me, and if it didn’t have much in the way of arm and shoulder isolation work that’s not going to get me to where I want to go.

When you write a program, you need to be mindful of your goals and the ways that you, specifically, will need to reach them. You also can’t be a dick about shit you hate. I hate core work so didn’t do any for years and paid the price on several occasions.

But the best thing about writing your own routines is it’s fun! Trying shit out, sticking with what works, getting rid of what doesn’t. Lots of fun.


Im not going to create it right away, im planning on working on my strength with a begginers’ program for all of my 1st year at least, then a year of push-pull-legs programs from people that i know they are legit and then probably try to make my own program, for now, im just trying to soak in as much knowledge as possible, about programs as a whole, about most exercises separately, about nutrition, about everything to be honest


You are also aware of your limitation, which most beginners are not.

My back also sucks balls. I don’t back squat or conventional deadlifts and I don’t give a shit what anyone says. My repertoire is varied enough that I know the proper substitute for my needs.


The exact passage I quoted.


Bingo. That’s why (generally) beginners shouldn’t write their own programs. All those factors require a significant degree of self awareness that takes time to develop. It’s also usually faster to develop it using proven programs and learning what does and doesn’t work along the way.


several years usually.
Myself (and I believe most guys) prolly takes 5+ years serious training to ‘learn your body’ or even truly appreciate the value of that concept


IMO if you log what you do and have a more analytical mindset maybe two to three years, but definitely no less than that. To fully know what you need to do and be able to keep pace with how your body changes I’m going with well over five years.