T Nation

Do You Follow A Program or Not?

Do you walk into the gym with a written program that you follow daily like it is the holy grail of gainz…?

or do you know what your working that day (legs, chest, etc…) and just get after it like a BEAST?

Both. I follow a program for my main lifts (what lift variation, load, reps and weight). For my assistance lifts I usually just have reps and sets. I’ll choose a weight, sometimes I’ll change up the reps and sets, but keep them roughly the same. Might do 3X12 instead of 3X10 for example. I’ll even substitute lifts if I am really not feeling them. Don’t feel like lat pull down? Strap on the dip belt and do some chins.

I do my own thing. Always have. I really wanted to look back one day after achieving one hell of a physique and know I did it all on my own.

BUT

I’m no longer thinking that’s a good plan. So after my cut is over I will be trying something. Idk what yet. But something.

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Both. Training has cycles.

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I tend to like to follow “templates” which leaves flexibility for me to make choices but keeps me tied to an overall weekly volume and workload. For example, at any given time over the last 5-6 years I’ve commonly been running a 531 with 5’s PRO, BBB supplement, and 2 bodyweight assistance exercises. A perfect example: Back squats as the main and supplement left, super-setted with ring dips and pull ups. These days, I’m using Tactical Barbell which gives the framework to choose maximum strength and conditioning clusters based on my own experience and current needs.

What I don’t do is follow any programs that have things like “do 4 sets of 12 concentration curls with 15 second eccentrics at a 45 degree angle”. I also don’t ever go into the gym with a “it’s back day” or “it’s leg day” approach, or at least not since I was in high school or college.