I'm calm...I'm calm God DAMNIT!
So we both believe in the same set of principles, but are came there from two different roads. I was the kid spinning my wheels all through college, not really getting stronger or bigger...just a little fatter. I had no idea what was out there and was often taking advice from the "experienced" lifters at my gym as well as my older sister who's a trainer. It was when I finally just did a damned program that I got anywhere. Over the course of time, I learned what worked and didn't work. Today, I feel like I know enough to start experimenting with tweaking made programs and even putting some of my own workouts together. I NEVER would've gotten there without a structured program, and I truly believe that's what alot of the lifting "dropouts" might have needed.
In the very beginning, piecing together an effective program can be intimidating to newer, younger lifters since there is so much info out there and soooo many "big and strong" guys around them training like fucking idiots. They will most likely fail at first which is discouraging, whereas starting with structure may guarantee early progress, which is crucial.
In a way, I am implying that you can't learn how your body responds through experimentation until you have "serious experience". Included in said "serious experience" is knowing HOW to INTELLIGENTLY experiment. This requires a bit of research into the theory of training and not just heading over to the gym and messing around. I experimented all the time all through college and never saw results. Turns out nothing I was trying was anywhere near the neighborhood of intelligent program design. Here's a good analogy coming from a PhD physicist. Experimental physicists will create an experiment to test a hypothesis; however, all through schooling and graduate work, all laboratory work was done following a strict rubric or the guidance of an advisor. It is during that time they learn how to ask the right questions, and set up the right experiments. In the very beginning, that requires working through labs laid out step by step for you.