Apr 6, 2007

The Most Important Program Variable


You got it. That's IS it. The question is, do you HAVE it.

Those who know me or have trained with me over the years are most likely engaging in a bit of the ol' rolling of the eyes already..."Not this again, Chris." You better believe it. What is the saying?...you have to hear a message 10-15 times before it really starts sinking in...? What number is this for you? Tally it up and read on.

I have read a lot of books and research and programs and periodization information. They all have amazing and creative information regarding how to add 8 inches to your vertical in 2 months to dropping 10 lbs. in 2 weeks. And I have to tell you, there are some amazingly creative trainers out there. There really are. I have seen some of the most fantastic ideas about program design over the past couple years that I could have never come up with. But I have got to share a little news with you that over a decade of experience as well as research in the fields of performance and fitness have shown me...

It is NOT the program.

Don't get me wrong. Program design is one of the most valuable services I provide for my clients in order to avoid injury and adaptation as well as maximize progress. But if you take a look at any fitness magazine you are going to find the "latest" program to help you achieve the results you've always wanted. In my humble opinion (surprise surprise), this is just a marketing ploy to get you to buy the magazine. It's not the program that's the magic pill. There is a time and a place for program manipulation and adjustment. But if you want to maximize your results, folks, here is the answer you've been looking for:

Do something, do it regularly, and do it forever!

I know, I know. Not the most scientifically-based jargon you've ever heard. But you need to know something...IT WORKS! I have seen too many folks get caught up in the old "Paralysis by Analysis" trap to know that there is so much time lost in evaluation what one should do, where to start, etc. Just start. Get going. Quit waiting. And pick something that you can stick to for a while. Truth be told, for most people just starting out on a workout routine (whether it's for performance or fitness) you are going to see the greatest results and benefits in the first 4-6 months just from getting your body moving (even if you're not doing "the best" routine). And you'll find that you're going to continue to improve for a significant amount of time before adaptation starts to come into play and you are forced to change your program variables in order to achieve continued results.

Again, don't get me wrong. Is there value in getting started on the right foot, having a professional assessment and program designed that takes into consideration your goals and limitations?...Of course there is. That is one of my primary functions as a trainer. But don't get sucked into the idea that you have to be doing the latest exercise or routine that comes out in the magazine or trying to decide of the programs listed in the 15 different magazines you read which is the best to start with (by the way, the answer to that question is...whichever one you'll stick to longer than 3 months). Use those programs or tips as ideas and value them as ways to change your program to keep you interested. Why does that matter? Because if you are interested, you'll be...you got it...MORE CONSISTENT!

Now that I've said all that, you gotta be asking yourself, "Is this guy putting himself out of a job?" Simple answer...no. Truth be told, I'd rather have people come to me after they've plateaued on their program than starting from ground zero. My job is made easier then. However, the encouragement here is for lifelong improvement. My expertise comes in when the plateaus are reached, avoiding injury, evaluating if the program that is being performed has the best ratio of benefit to risk, and maximizing progress to achieve the goals most efficiently. My goals (unlike a lot of trainers out there) is to get people to their goals as efficiently as possible so that they are not dependent upon me. I want people to gain the tools and skills and know how so they can move to more independence and utilize me as a Training Consultant once or twice a month for continued progress and creative programs to keep it fun. Why? I can help more people this way.

I hope this helps. Now get going. And if you get stuck at a plateau or are concerned about injury avoidance...give me a call. Otherwise, what are you waiting for?

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