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Muscle Building and Bodybuilding Topics related to muscle building, bodybuilding, including training and fullbody workouts. If you are looking for great advice on gaining muscle this forum is for you.

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Old 03-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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Default Workout Design and Training Experience

This question stems from seeing young lifters attempt to structure workouts before they understand major lifts, good form, and their own bodies.

The question is...when do you feel a trainee is qualified to start designing their own workouts?
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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I think once they have tried a few routines that have been written by other people and found out what works for them.

Also once they understand they have to do legs and not just curl themselves in to oblivion all the time.

At the end of the day every routine was trial and error originally, but i think to design your own (or someone elses) then you have to understand WHY they were trialed and WHY the error occured, otherwise you are just gonna end up spinning your wheels.

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Old 03-23-2011, 09:54 AM   #3
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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing in this case but at the end of the day it's down to that individual's understanding of their body and how exercises work. If someone reads and learns well, they will be in a position to plan a routine much quicker than someone who takes information indiscriminately.

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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I've been lifting for around 3 years now and I still will not try to design my own routine. I guess as LTL stated though it really depends upon the individual and how quickly they process knowledge. I've seen some guys that just want to do curls and bench all day and even after they are told of the importance of leg training still don't care to put the knowledge to use and start several more threads asking for help. " I don't want to be huge, I just want to be toned and my legs get worked enough in ..........."
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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When they can tell me legitimate reasoning and planning behind the inclusion of every exercise/movement/accessory into their lifting plan.

When they have more than a basic understanding of the principles of training (intensity, volume, frequency) and how to manipulate them in a progressive program that is always moving towards their goal.

Before then, they won't be able to adjust their training b/c they won't understand why their carefully thought out spreadsheet isn't working, or is working.

Edit note: This is more from the powerlifting perspective, but I'm certain these principles apply to all training.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #6
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When a trainnee can be honest with himself that he doesn't know everything. I still consider myself young in the iron game, and ice come across many guys my age who feel they know everything those kind of people I ignore. I'm all about learning from ones who have been in the game
much longer than I have and from that I've made great gains.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:01 PM   #7
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Difficult question that...I designed my very first workout but it was based on a template after reading a book and each exercise was chosen based on what I had available, so some exercise naturally had to be excluded etc. Admittedly it was only a basic routine for conditioning, so very little could go wrong; but it brought my fitness levels up, added muscle and I got what I wanted from it. Even now, I'm still inclined to fall back on it when I'm not feeling great, purely because I know it works.

I don't think I've ever done a routine that has been written by someone else; but, I do take note of what people write, suggest to others in relation to intensity and exercise selection and then incorporate or alter my routines accordingly. LtL said something a few months back and it struck a chord, prior to me writing my routine up, and I heeded the info, even though it wasn't initially aimed at me but was in fact advice given to another member.

I think you have to accept that you're willing to be wrong on occasion, before you should even contemplate writing your own routines...in this way, you're pliable and will listen and learn and alter a routine instead of doggedly clinging to something that may either not work or even be detrimental.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:37 AM   #8
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Thats a very complex answer to a simple question.

There have already been some good answers.

A telling point for me is when somebody makes their own program is whether that program is appropriate for them. They might just have gotten lucky and basically copied one, and it is a good program, but is it appropriate for them?

Does that program address there level of experience, or is it just another copy of Arnolds Olympia program? More often than not they design a program far beyond their current level or needs.

Another point is this. Can they explain the program and why it is designed the way that it is, and how the whole things fits together in the larger picture. It does not matter if it is a split or a full body concept, at the root of it, it is your whole body that is being worked. The overlap areas need to be thought about, and how your hitting things. Progression needs to be a central focus point as well. A entire book could be, and several have been written on this topic. Less is more in writing a good program.

I would venture an estimate, and say that probably 75% of peole who are lifting are using a program far beyond their current needs, or just flat out using the wrong program.

This whole sport has taken a serious wrong turn in the aspect of program design, and what most peole should actually be doing as opposed to what is being currently done. It is really a sad state of affairs that one of the most frequently asked questions by people looking to lift is, "What supps do I need to be taking."
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5kgLifter View Post
Difficult question that...I designed my very first workout but it was based on a template after reading a book and each exercise was chosen based on what I had available, so some exercise naturally had to be excluded etc. Admittedly it was only a basic routine for conditioning, so very little could go wrong; but it brought my fitness levels up, added muscle and I got what I wanted from it. Even now, I'm still inclined to fall back on it when I'm not feeling great, purely because I know it works.

I don't think I've ever done a routine that has been written by someone else; but, I do take note of what people write, suggest to others in relation to intensity and exercise selection and then incorporate or alter my routines accordingly. LtL said something a few months back and it struck a chord, prior to me writing my routine up, and I heeded the info, even though it wasn't initially aimed at me but was in fact advice given to another member.

I think you have to accept that you're willing to be wrong on occasion, before you should even contemplate writing your own routines...in this way, you're pliable and will listen and learn and alter a routine instead of doggedly clinging to something that may either not work or even be detrimental.
I know you research and read and study. I trust that you are wise enough to do things for a reason. This is a huge part of the equation.

There are intangibles at play that can't be quantified. For example, we know that certain people just shouldn't me designing their own programs yet. They are missing wisdom, insight and direction with regards to their specific goals.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #10
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If their first question is "My back hurts when I squat, what you think about using leg extensions in my new routine?" they should first be slapped silly and then have their pen, pencil or ipad taken away from them.
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