I often talk about the importance of finding what works best for YOU.
The best exercises – for YOU.
The best workout frequency – for YOU.
The best sets and reps – for YOU.
The best progression systems – for YOU.
That means you have to do your homework – study – read – set up a smart training program – and then test it. You see how it works, and you monitor your results very carefully, and you make changes and adjustments as you move forward.
That’s called “experimentation” – and it’s a very good thing to do. But it has to be SENSIBLE experimentation.
When I talk about experimenting with different programs and different workouts, I’m talking about trying different kinds of sane, sensible, abbreviated programs.
The word “experiment” is not permission to try the latest super program.
Rather, it means (for example) to try 5 x 5 and see how it works for you – and later, to see if 5 x 5 followed by 1 x 3 and 1 x 1 works better. It doesn’t mean to jump into the latest and greatest super system you see on the Internet, and start doing something totally different than what you were doing before. Sensible experimentation means you stick with most of what you’ve been doing – but you make some relatively minor adjustments – and see what happens.
Also, remember that the more you change something, the more you need to treat it as a “new” exercise or a new program – and break into it slowly and carefully.
For example, if you switch from 5 x 5 in the squat to 1 x 20, you need to start light and easy, and work up in weight and effort slowly, gradually and progressively.
The 5 x 5 work is great for you, but it is VERY different than doing 20 rep squats. So you have to treat it as something new and different.
Ditto if you move from 1 x 20 to 5 x 5. The same applies to changing exercises.
Give yourself time to learn the movement – get the form locked in – and be able to do it perfectly. And give your body time to toughen up to the unique requirements of the new exercise.
Example: bench presses aren’t dips – and vice versa. If you switch from one to the other, you need to take it slow and easy.
Ditto for squats and front squats.
Ditto for deadlifts and stiff legged deadlifts – or power cleans – or high pulls.
You often see stuff on social media where people brag about doing an exercise – often deadlifts – for the first time in a long time – and setting a PR or hitting a big number. That’s kinda silly if you think about it.
Or at best, it’s an example of what NOT to do.
It’s downright dangerous – and it’s totally and completely unnecessary. And it makes you miss the fun of starting light and easy, and building up slowly but steadily, on any given exercise. Adding weight to the bar every week during the building up period is FUN – and it builds confidence. It teaches you the Success Habit – which in turn will carry you to great gains for your entire training career.
For more details about training progression and how to do it right, grab Dinosaur Training Secrets Vol. 3.
Dinosaur Training Secrets Vol. 3 – Old School Progression Systems is available in the following formats:
I hope that helps clear up any confusion!
In closing, as always – thanks for reading and have a great day. If you train today, make it a good one!
Yours in strength,