Well there are plenty of programs, trainers and infomercials that tell you that the way to achieve your fitness goals is to first scrap everything you are doing and listen to them and them alone, the question remains, is this the best way to go about achieving those goals? This is obviously not addressed in the presentation for the simple reason that they want you to believe scraping your program is the ONLY way and now you just have to decide on which program to replace it with. Then go on to tell you why it should be theirs.
I do not subscribe to this mentality. I believe the exception is; if through research you find your current program actually has a negative effect on achieving your goals. I will explain this further at the end of this post.
With that being said, if your goal is fat loss, there are not many, hopefully there are not any programs out there that are going to actually put fat back on your body! The most common goal is general fitness; an increase in strength, endurance and great body composition. There are just as many programs that promise to guide you in achieving this goal as there are people that are striving to achieve it. So how do you choose one? Should you try one, scrap it, start all over and try another?
Exercise selection, combination, periodization and a couple other “ations” are important, yet the importance of these is drastically over stated. The vast amount of arguments on what exercise is truly better for what goal leads us to believe this is the most important factor. This is false. The most important factor is: how hard are you going to do that exercise? Let me give you an example. Lets us take the vast number of core training programs. One program has you on your back with trunk lifts and leg lifts and twist to develop your core. Another has completely opposite exercises as you are on your knees rolling back and forth, and hanging from a pull up bar holding the reps instead of just lifting and lowering. All these exercises target the same muscles in a different way. Is there one that targets them “better” than the other? Sure. Is that the most important factor is the success of achieving the core you desire? Not at all. Sweat is. And you don’t have to pay anyone to get that. You just have to put in HARD work.
Take your current program and keep it! Focus on the most important thing first, how hard you are working, then give your training schedule and exercise selection some fine tunning here and there.
Give yourself a couple weeks. Put that new program you were going to buy on hold. Dedicate yourself to your current program and give it all you got. Going half way on ANY program, even the mythical “best in the world” program will not yield results.
If you find an exercise you are doing just doesn’t seem like it is working, do some research on the goal you had for that exercise and find one that seems more promising, better yet, find one that a real world example used to achieve the same goal. This would be a “fine tune” as it is just one exercise in your entire program. Just honestly examine if it’s that exercise and not a lack of intensity.
As i mentioned in the beginning there are some exceptions, as I have personally experienced, but that is in the area of goals vs training. For example I was training with a bodybuilding program, bodybuilding is dedicated exclusively to hypertrophy ( muscle growth, not growth in strength, power or endurance, just pure muscle growth, inflating the size of the muscle if you will). Meanwhile my goals were for all types of strength, endurance and work capacity to increase drastically. I was actually training in a way that had a profound negative effect on my goals. With this in mind there is a place to sit down, access your goals along with training and see if your training pushes you closer to your goals and has a positive effect on you reaching them or not. Basically discover if your training is in front of you pushing you back, as it was in my case, or behind you pushing you towards your goals as it should be.
I believe this is the exception though. As there are countless training programs that will be behind you pushing you towards your goal and very, very few that will be hindering you. After making this distinction however, you will come full circle and be faced with a plethora (couldn’t give up the chance to use that word!) of programs promising to be the best. Right back where we started. The principle still remains, access how hard you are working at your current program. Put your focus there first. Have that be the first change you make.