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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 08-31-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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Default Bad programming

Was talking to a buddy at the gym about all the bad programming you see on the Internet and it raised a good question: when you look at a workout, what signs tip you off that it's bad programming?

My big one is number of exercises. When I get a finger cramp from mouse scrolling down to read through a workout, someone is volume obsessed. It's a sure sign to me of bad programming.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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1. Number of movements
2. the movements themselves
3. the order of the movements
4. the set rep scheme
5. the experience level of the lifter
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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When no clear goal is apparent because the exercises, sets, rep scheme don't have any rhyme or reason.
Also, programs that neglect a body part. Having 20 sets for your chest, 12 for your biceps and 6 for your legs is bad programming! And I know I am being Captain Obvious!
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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One of my big red flags is volume of exercises. I also look for workouts that are isolation heavy. Novice workouts that contain 50% plus isolation work usually are just buffet workouts without direction or focus.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glwanabe View Post
1. Number of movements
2. the movements themselves
3. the order of the movements
4. the set rep scheme
5. the experience level of the lifter
^^^ to these, I would also like to see the following mentioned -

6. A progression scheme.
7. Possibly, Deload

IMO, a workout isnt just about exercise, sets and reps. There has to be at least a loosely structured plan of progression. Most routines on the forums dont talk about this.

Deloading is another concept that seems to be getting more and more alien these days. I think this is even more important if someone tends to stick with the same loose workout routine for a long time (few months at the very least).

As a side note to the forum users - If anyone is up for creating it, a stickied thread on deload would be an useful addition to this forum. I dont have enough experience to weigh in on this, but would love to see other people's take on deload, its benefits and approaches towards deloading.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitarpyar View Post
A progression scheme.
IMO, a workout isnt just about exercise, sets and reps. There has to be at least a loosely structured plan of progression. Most routines on the forums dont talk about this.
Beat me to it...

A list of exercises IS NOT A ROUTINE. There has to be a plan for progression and getting stronger. I get really tired of guys that post a "Critique My Routine" thread and it's just a list of exercises broken up into different days. Even worse are the guys that claim to have done "Such and Such" routine and didn't bother to study the plan for progression. Yikes, how many times have I seen somebody say that they have done 5/3/1 for a few weeks and saw INCREDIBLE gains. Or..."i plan to run 5/3/1 for 12 weeks then switch to something else." Huh???
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:52 PM   #7
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Excellent posts by all; but this for me is the one I see time and time again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuytrider View Post
When no clear goal is apparent...
If there is either no clear goal, or far too many goals. Both are as bad as the other.

A training routine can be as complex and voluminous as you like, but most guys would do well to simplify their goals.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:47 PM   #8
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I'm in agreement with those who've mentioned lack of goal/lack of prioritizing in addition to anything without a clear path of progression.

In regards to goals, the specifics will obviously be different from one goal to the next, or one method from the other but each workout should focus and put much of the effort into the first 1-2 lifts and demonstrate a balance of volume and intensity per workout, week, or month.

Progression is obvious. Without explaining how to progress the lifter will probably fail to move to forward.

I also agree that a long list of movements is usually a bad thing. Most of the time its a sign of piss poor programming and a lack of understanding. But this can't really be generalized as it will depend on the chosen movements and the intensity/volume/energy put into each movement. Someone who adds some prehab stuff at the end of a workout can easily add 2-4 movements onto the list but this stuff is easy, keeps ya healthy, and compliments the bigger work done. On the other doing triceps 4 different ways after a 2 heavy or high volume presses is more than likely a waste of time and energy and could slow progression.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violent Volume View Post
Was talking to a buddy at the gym about all the bad programming you see on the Internet and it raised a good question: when you look at a workout, what signs tip you off that it's bad programming?

My big one is number of exercises. When I get a finger cramp from mouse scrolling down to read through a workout, someone is volume obsessed. It's a sure sign to me of bad programming.
IMO, there isnt a one-size-fits-all program. Individual and personal factors must be taken into account before a program is designed.

The internet doesnt have common sense.

You have to look for it to find it.

For me its the total package and whether the individual particulars are questioned and addressed, volume, frequency, number of sets, exercises being used, and.....whether its progression sensetive.
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Last edited by Chillen; 08-31-2011 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:45 PM   #10
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I would like to add in any program or author of such program claims something "revolutionary to the world of S&C".

The science behind what works and what doesnt hasnt really changed in the past 100 years or so. Basic movements while constantly adding weight over time is the one thing we all know works and its been stated ad nauseum.

When some "guru" starts posting articles on the net about something that will change the way we think about training, the little red flags are thrown up. The more a program is hyped through adverts and affiliates, the worse it is. Most of the time it is someone trying to sell you something. These are the worst kinds of programs.

Along the same lines, any program that promises to do it all. Like kettlebells. These are promised to build strength, muscle, and increase endurance like nothing else. Have you seen someone who solely uses kettlebells? They aren't winning any powerlifting meets, bodybuilding shows, or marathons.

Good programs address one goal. Maybe two goals that are closely connected like strength and hypertrophy. Pick a goal, and find a program designed to meet that goal.
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