Originally Posted by Jeffrey Cupra
I tend to lean towards the more competetive programming although I find myself more of an intermediate.
In my opinion, this is one of the biggest mistakes right here. I'll throw in my 2cents based on personal experience, experience from those I've trained, what I've learned, studied and the amount of years that I've spent obsessing about learning from the mistakes or experiences of others.
1. Always train towards your goals. If you don't, you won't know if the plan or route to get there is working. If you don't have a goal, well, that's like getting in the car and driving, not knowing exactly where you are going and then getting ****ed when you run out of gas before arriving at the magical destination.
2. The best training program is the one you aren't doing. You can always obsess about finding something better. First off, in the fitness world, there is no such thing as BEST. If there was, there would be one supplement, one workout program, one nutrition plan. Period. Look in any fitness magazine, use google and walk into any health food store. Clearly, folks haven't figured out exactly what works. Point is, pick something and grind it.
3. Stick with the program. If you want to get stronger and someone a lot stronger than you programs a 9 week strength program - then guess what, you probably want to try it for 9 weeks before deciding to jump ship. Otherwise, why didn't he just say "do this for 15 days, then do whatever and I endorse this as a way to get strong."
I always refer back to a guy at my gym when I was a trainer there. He just worked out but I knew him decently enough. I talked with him all the time, for the better part of a year. We would even do a few workouts together. This guy was a monster. SWAT, ex special forces and had his run prior to all of that in the fitness world - so he knew his stuff (movement, training, programming, etc.) He is my one guy that I've always referred to as the dude that didn't do Crossfit but based on what I knew and saw and how he trained, if he dedicated a full year to Crossfit specific movements, he'd make the games.
When we started talking programming, I asked him what he did, because clearly it was working. He said, for the better part of the year, he just ripped out or copy machined a workout from a Muscle and Fitness or Mens Health magazine. The only standards and changes were:
1) the workout had to have exercises and a flow that he believed in. PCs, DLs, Squats, Benching, BW stuff was good but if it was Bosu ball workouts and some crazy surfboard band work he wouldn't do it. Otherwise, the reps, reason, celebrity that did it, the movie role that it was used to prep an actor for, the specific exact movement patterns, etc. Well he didn't care. He just knew pushups and bench and pullups and deadlifts and treadmill sprints were better than isolated tricep kickbacks on a balance board.
2) he would change the tool (DBs vs. Barbell) based on equipment and boredom concerns (so if it said 4x8 Barbell Bench 2 days per week, he might
do 1 day of 4x8 Barbell Bench and 1 day of 4x8 DB Bench).
Otherwise, he just picked the program (which helped him shut his mind off about "what to do" even though he knew "what to do") and stuck with it until the end, which was usually 5-8 weeks. Afterwards, he'd go the store, buy a magazine or just copy and paste another one from M&F magazine online and do that.
Rinse repeat for the better part of the year. And yes, he was certain that it helped him become the dude I mentioned. Someone that could walk into a Crossfit Regional and make a push for the games, with less than a year of actual Crossfit under his belt. He taught me the most important lesson in training and programming. Stick with something you believe in (meaning you know the movements are solid and it meets the goals), grind it and push hard at it and see it through until the very end.