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.

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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.


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.

This +1. I track very closely my main exercises but after that, I have some fun with my assistance lifts.

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When I’m training for high end strength or if I train everything more or less 3 times per week I almost always have a very specific plan of what I want to do within a rep or two etc. With the training I’ve been doing more recently, I’m focussing mostly on strength for high reps and bbing for certain body parts and normally with that style of training I train somewhat more by feel as a opposed a more or less set template.

I follow a program, but I write it–typically in 4-5 week blocks. Honestly, I have to follow preplanned scheme everyday to keep myself from overdoing it. If I go in with no template, I’ll probably end up with rhabdo within a few weeks :grimacing:

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I keep a log and always have a plan but I don’t follow a program. I have followed programs before but due to old injuries and being a stubborn dumbass, I always alter them some.

When I was younger and weaker, I did. Nowadays, I generally stick to working up to a top end set in one main lift, then fuckarounditis after that.

Example: This morning I worked up to 210x5 in the seated press and then just did 5 sets of AMRAP chin-ups to see how many chins I could cram into the 15 minutes I had left to train.

Yes and no.

I do not follow any of these cookie cutter programs you find online; I have always programed myself. I have made mistakes and have made gains, but ultimately I know my body better than any one else. I know what my goals are and have, over a long time, tailored my training to move towards those. It takes time, research, trial and error; but I feel like it’s better for me.

I do know what I’m going to do before I step into the gym. Heck I know today what I’ll be doing a week from now and probably a month from now.

I have carefully crafted my own program and generally stick to it. But sometimes I change something: I’ll try a new ( or old) exercise to see if I want to add it to the program, or I’ll change the split order, or I’ll add in an extra day of a certain body part to bring it up a little.

I only do exercises that I like. By this I mean I do exercises that I can feel how and where I want to feel it. If I try something different and feel it the way I want then I’ll add it to the rotation and maybe take something else out. If I don’t feel/like it then I nix it and go back to what I like.

This really seems to bother some people at the gym who feel they must suffer through exercises/lifts they don’t like. I hate lunges, so I don’t do them; I love squats, so they’re always post of my regime. I hate cardio and believe that it isn’t necessary for fat lose; I’d rather eat 500 calories less than spend an hour milling away on a stationary bike.

I do what I love and I try to do it as best as I can. Life is too short to waste it doing something you hate.