T Nation

Programing for Myself

Hey! I am curious. Is it normal to have problems writing a program for yourself? But when someone asks you to help them (write a program) it seems easy and they benefit greatly. I have been able to help/write programs both nutritional and training oriented and the people benefited a lot. But then why is it that I can not write a single program for myself that lets me progress? I tend to get “paralysis by over analysis” when designing a program for myself.

Anyone else have this issue or am I just weird?

I am working towards my CFT at the moment, and I have just finished my second year of a Bachelor in Kinesiology. I hope to one day become a strength coach as it has been my growing passion the past 4 years. I feel that this is a crutch and will result in me being a bad coach.

I’ve helped write programs for friends occasionally too, it’s a fun process interacting with them and seeing them progress and reaching the goals they set using your advice.

As far as writing your own programming I used to have a problem with that before I really got into powerlifting. I used to want to be bigger, leaner, stronger, and faster at the same time and my training was a mess. Now I’m more focused on one goal and have become a big believer in sticking to the basics. Start with a basic template that focuses on the big 3 and add in volume/ up the intensity as much as you’re able.

I do think that an undulating volume, effort and intensity using some form of autoregulation (based on rates of perceived effort) can be superior to following a written plan by the book, but even after years of training I don’t trust myself to do this properly. Although many see it as a poor option, I do like customizing existing programs based on autoregulatory input and the like.

At the beginning I was terrible at writing programs for myself because I had really little understanding of what actually worked and what didn’t. However, through trial and error I became much adept at the process and now I’m doing alright (for the squat and deadlift, at least). I know anything I write will be more enjoyable for me than something someone else writes and when a program’s enjoyable for me I progress on it, otherwise I don’t progress.