T Nation

Writing Your Own Program

this is such a bitch.

i have read numerous articles, books, etc. Even so it is still very hard for me to put it all down on paper for myself.

I seem to get overwhelmed by so many variables and what not.

I just feel that to move on in the iron game i have to break free of relying on ready made programs.

I just had to vent some cause i’ve been researching for hours and hours at how to get better at writing my own program and I just wanna get it right so bad.

Why not throw up what you have at the moment…
That way people could suggest what is right and wrong :slight_smile:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1701042

[quote]Rampage74 wrote:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1701042

http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1702383 [/quote]

The guy writes that he is overwhelmed by articles and your response is…MORE articles?

There simply are not that many variables to make this that complicated. This much confusion is the result of information overload…not a sign that they need to read even more articles.

I tried to make my own when I first started…

Every time I read something new I changed my program. Every week it changed.

I made no progress for months.

Now I’m sticking to a pre-made 5x5. Things are coming along great. Consistently beating my PRs by 5-10lbs a week.

Be careful not to get too ‘ADD’ about program design.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
The guy writes that he is overwhelmed by articles and your response is…MORE articles?

[/quote]

Haha, could not have said it better myself
:slight_smile:

i feel you brother, i went through this for like a few months. trust me one day you’ll have the epitome that cuts through the whole fog. i couldn’t stick to a program, then over the course of a couple of days, it just cleared itself up and i knew what works for me.

it helps if you just go back to basics. split routine, 1-2 times a week of hitting a muscle, throw in compounds and isolation exercises, progress as often as you can( just pick 1 or 2 of the many progression methods and do it) just keep it simple and stick to it. the fog shall clear.

BRO, no need to look further, I’ve got THE program for you. It’s from Men’s Health (Tons of Useful Stuff), and it’s called THE ABS DIET WORKOUT:

menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=weight
.loss&category=abs.diet&conitem=ad22792708008010VgnVCM200000cee793cd____

[quote]AlterEgo721 wrote:
this is such a bitch.

i have read numerous articles, books, etc. Even so it is still very hard for me to put it all down on paper for myself.

I seem to get overwhelmed by so many variables and what not.

I just feel that to move on in the iron game i have to break free of relying on ready made programs.

I just had to vent some cause i’ve been researching for hours and hours at how to get better at writing my own program and I just wanna get it right so bad.

[/quote]

If I understood you correctly you said you’re researching training methodologies to write the perfect program.

People will have different opinions on this, but here’s my take on it:

  1. Stop researching - you already know enough theory

  2. Learn how to apply the theory to YOUR BODY. No matter how many articles you read about what beginners, intermediates or advanced lifters should do mean little as you ultimately have to see how your body will respond. Don’t become another victim of the information age.

  3. Information is good; but be selective in what you choose to have preoccupy your thoughts. Seeing how you feel overwhelmed, let me help you cut through the bullshit. From now on the only information you’ll pay attention to is what your body tells you.

ex: Scale weight hasn’t gone up in a few weeks = eat more
ex: Feeling weaker in the gym = reduce training volume or frequency
ex: gaining weight but not getting stronger yet you feel fresh? Increase training intensity and possibly frequency

etc etc…

If you just listen to what your body is telling you then you will eventually custom make the perfect program for yourself. Volume, intensity, frequency will all fall into place.

Also don’t sweat which split you use or minor things like that. Think about it, if you eat enough to gain 20-30 pounds in the next year and bust your ass in the gym 3-6 hours per week do you really think small stuff most personal trainers make a big deal out of makes a difference?

Simplify your life, take a step back and ask yourself if whatever concerns you at the moment will really make a difference in a year from now. If you do this exercise you’ll end up with a very small list of variables.

Good luck

I don’t want to sound like an ass, but if you have to research to put together your own program you aren’t ready to put together your own program.

i think it all boils down to my being to much of a perfectionist and having to do things right all the time without wanting to fail at it. A good trait yet sometimes hinders me from seeing some things through if i am not proficient @ it right away.

Thanks for most of your responses. I pretty much believe I know inside what to do, it’s just I am letting myself get carried away with like Prof X so well put it “info. overload.”

And to the last comment about not being ready to write my own program…what’s wrong with reading up on something to do it better? I am sure that people go to school to ummm …oh yeah it’s to learn. Don’t see the harm in that my friend.

[quote]AlterEgo721 wrote:

And to the last comment about not being ready to write my own program…what’s wrong with reading up on something to do it better?

[/quote]

Because there is no “perfect” program. It does not exist. There is only you lifting heavy enough to grow, eating enough to grow and allowing your body to rest enough to grow. Period.

All of the attention you are no doubt giving to specific rep ranges does NOT matter that much at all and the guy who learns to listen to his own body will always be miles ahead of the guy who actually has to do research just to figure out how to train his entire body once a week.

I understand that some of you claim there are no larger lifters at your gyms and that is why you act like this…because you have no one to observe, but this is ridiculous. There is a reason no one ever needed to a PhD to get huge. The basics work. They always have and always will.

While most of you sit around having mental orgasms at the release of this or that amazing new program, what are the big guys actually doing? Are they switching their fucking routine every two to six weeks and worrying about 5x5 this or TBT that? Of course not.

I am not sure why that gets overlooked so easily…but of course, all of that info is clearly doing so much for you.

Go sit in a college biology classroom before you worry that much about what gets written here from certain authors.

Go watch the big guys train before you give that much credit to a specific program with a catchy “new” title.

I saw a black guy there once (very strange because no black people live in our town) using the pec deck with the entire stack for like 15 reps per set.

It was crazy. He’s really the only strong person I’ve seen at my gym.

[quote]AlterEgo721 wrote:
this is such a bitch.

i have read numerous articles, books, etc. Even so it is still very hard for me to put it all down on paper for myself.

I seem to get overwhelmed by so many variables and what not.

I just feel that to move on in the iron game i have to break free of relying on ready made programs.

I just had to vent some cause i’ve been researching for hours and hours at how to get better at writing my own program and I just wanna get it right so bad.

[/quote]

You need a goal - more size, strength, musc. endurance… etc.
You need a frequency of full body trained - so 1x/wk, 4x/wk…
You need a volume of sets/reps - simply high, mod, or low.
You need a split or TBT base.
You choose the exercises that match your goal.
You choose the frequency that matches your goal.
You choose your volume that matches your goal.
You choose your exercises that match your goal.

Ok?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Rampage74 wrote:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1701042

The guy writes that he is overwhelmed by articles and your response is…MORE articles?

There simply are not that many variables to make this that complicated. This much confusion is the result of information overload…not a sign that they need to read even more articles.[/quote]

I think those two article are the best on the site to design your own program. why? because there is many explanation in those two, trying to help the guy here…nothing more!

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
I tried to make my own when I first started…

Every time I read something new I changed my program. Every week it changed.

I made no progress for months.

Now I’m sticking to a pre-made 5x5. Things are coming along great. Consistently beating my PRs by 5-10lbs a week.

Be careful not to get too ‘ADD’ about program design.[/quote]

yea me too, but now i hardly ever read the articles especially when they pertain to a new program. all you really need is a basic layout of movements. as time goes on you add sets/reps or switch out movements maybe shorten the rest maybe change the tempo. its really not that hard.

youd think with the stereotype being that the biggest people are the dumbest you would try to keep your workouts relatively simple and just focus on going hard on them instead of hmmm is my foot angled at o’ryans belt and my elbow alligned with venus for this bench press? and did i twitch my nose enough on the concentric?

At this point of my life and all the reading I have done AND the observation of big dudes (I know quite a few) and I am finally starting to look big and fill out an XL shirt and in some cases, XXL T-shirts (due to neck, trap, shoulder, and lat growth, NOT because of some big belly as per Chris Shuggy), I have realized that bodybuilding is just this:

Frequency
Choose the frequency you feel is necessary according to the volume you do for each bodypart. I do once per week but the whole new rage is twice per week and less volume. Whatver you like! Although I do respect Dante very much and he is far more advanced and experienced than I, I believe the higher frequency thing is overrated because there are STILL huge men training each bodypat once per week. I also do not like following one trainer or guru like he is god!

Exercises
Nearly all bodybuilders do 2 to 3 exercises for small muscle groups and 3 to 5 for large muscle groups.

Sets
Make up your mind. Either you are going to blast a muscle with low to moderate volume (2 to 8 total sets) and intensive methods (drop sets, forced reps, rest pause) or you are going to do it with high volume (>9 sets per bodypart).

Rest
I do not give a shit about pre set rest periods. I go when I get my breath back.

Reps
Nearly all bodybuilders perform 6 to 8 reps or 8 - 12 reps.

Exercise selection
Nearly all bodybuilders use 1 to 2 basic, big exercises per muscle group and 1 to 2 secondary and/or auxilliary exercises per muscle group.

Split
Come up with a split you like and is practical and doesn’t interfere with the recovery of muscle groups (ie: shoulder and chest day too close together, biceps and back days too close together). Train 2 to 3 muscle groups per session.

I truly do not know one big bodybuilder who does ANYTHING besides what I mentioned here! I am willing to be NOT one does anything different or more complicated or scientific! Notice how I did not have to introduce this subject with scientific backfround information in kines’, biomechanics, neurology, and so on!

Nor did I have to brag about people I advised in training. Nor did I have to promise you that all your stallings in training will be relieved if you follow what I say here. Notice how I did not write this material with a shitty title!

As for diet, AGAIN, I do not know of one bodybuilder who does not follow something like this for an offseason diet:
1 to 1.5 grams pro/lb
15 to 30% of diet as fat
Carbs: the rest!
That is it! Also notice how I always say NEARLY ALL BODYBUILDERS constantly and not NEARLY ALL STRENGTH TRAINING WRITERS in my writings.

Lol, good post and i agree.

good post! (mine was similar…:confused: )

I’m going to go against the grain and recommend you continue reading. Reading will hardly ever hurt you. However, I’ve found the best way to really get started is to just come up with something and do it.

Note the things that worked, what didn’t work that surprised you, anything that worked better than you thought it would, etc. Your next one will be better. Same thing, notice what works and what doesn’t, and keep refining each successive attempt. You have to get your hands a little dirty to really sort things out.

[quote]Ryan P. McCarter wrote:
I’m going to go against the grain and recommend you continue reading.[/quote]

Did you think anyone here meant he should stop learning…or do you really only associate learning with reading more articles about rep ranges?