It’s easy for us to focus our attention on the “work” in the workout - the vein pumping effort, the sweat-drenched final reps, and the PAINZ of making GAINZ. We’ve all seen the marketing tactics and fitness gimmicks showing us how to get “shredded” or “6-pack abs” in some absurd time frame. The before and after pictures may be convincing, but often these images are fabricated and fake. These “fitness programmes” are scams that abuse the general public’s ignorance on the subject of health and fitness, despite countless studies that have proven that fitness isn’t an “overnight” sensation.

A commonly accepted training paradigm in the world of strength and conditioning states that the best training protocol is the one you're not doing.  For some absurd reason, many of us have neither the patience nor the discipline to adhere to a single programme long enough to see the results.  If you think you have all the time in the world to pursue your goals, think again.  The clock is ticking fast, and if you don’t take action now, you probably never will.  

Successful people make opportunities, not excuses.  Our beliefs often prevent us from evolving,  when we do not value the chance, it is easy to miss out tremendously.  Many people are hoarders when it comes to their belief systems, even when the truth slaps them in the face, they choose not to see it and take comfort in being unyielding.  How often do you fail to take the advice, such as "more is not always better?"  

The biological law of accommodation states that the response of an organism to a given stimulus decreases over time. In other words, the longer you repeat an exercise, the less effective it gets. Therefore, it makes sense that exercises must be varied. On the other hand, there is the law of specific adaptations to imposed demands states that to get good at an exercise, you must practice that exercise on a regular basis.

An effective programme must offer consistency and variety! The conflict between the need for specificity and variability is one of the main training dilemmas. The most productive thing you can do is assess your individual goals and choose a programme targeted to the pursuit of your goals. You must then commit to following the plan from start to finish with no modifications or additional training.  Don't let FOMO (“Fear Of Missing Out”) make you lose sight of your goals.

Goals and progressions must be associated with the training programme, merely following any random garbage programming just won’t cut it. There is an art to programme design as the coach must understand where the client came from, what got them to where they are, where they want to go, what challenges there will be along the way, and how to best reach the destination. The programme needs to be built around “Testing” and “Targets."  Without these measures how can you know if your coach has a structured method, or if they are merely wasting your time and money?

The organisation of frequency, duration, intensity, volume and rest are all critical elements that need to be managed if optimal training success is to be achieved. These training parameters are organised by periodisation principles that include microcycle (typically 1 week), mesocycles (2-6weeks) and macrocycles (typically 1-4years), which are the method of planning the training journey.  The biological adaptations of the human body take longer than one week to occur.  A certain level of specific stress is needed to elicit changes in the body, and a MINIMUM of 12-week  is required if results are the true goal.

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The simple little task of committing to one programme for 12-weeks is a LOT HARDER than it may sound!  In our information-overloaded society we have access to thousands of plans at the click of a button, and it’s no wonder people have a hard time picking one and persisting with it.  Do you want to make progress or do you want to be entertained? Personal growth begins with an honest self-assessment.

It’s easy to feel enthusiasm when the going is “fun,” but professionals continue to push through once the fun has long departed and nobody else seems to care.  Get past the amateur, glazed-eye stage and re-evaluate how much you sill desire your goals. You must be relentless. If this were a fight to the death, would you let a dagger to the ribs stop you? How bad do you want to reach your goals?

If you are following more than one programme, mixing and matching, I’m sorry to say it won’t lead to a thoughtfully designed, safe and effective programming that progressively builds results.  Random workouts that elicit the “hard” response often deliver random results.  How well we adapt to and absorb stresses, especially unusual and unexpected ones, is called resilience. The higher your resilience, the less likely you are to incur debilitating injuries when something goes wrong, and the better chance you’ll recover well if an unavoidable injury does occur.  Building resilience takes dedication, commitment, and a desire to focus on a method that targets individual needs and goals.

As the say goes “failing to plan is planning to fail."