Get With the Program (The Importance of Having a Plan)

by Chris on February 6, 2010

Pretty much everyone has heard the saying “Fail to plan and plan to fail”. Why then do so many people approach their health with no plan whatsoever? I hear people all the time complain about seeing no (or minimal) results from their training, but when asked what their program looks like they either roll of some list of body parts that they train on a certain day or reply that they have no program at all!

Most people are intimidated by the concept of programming, and rightly so. There is so much talk of different periodization models, rep max percentages, overtraining, undertraining and so much else that it’s hard not to be at least a little intimidated. The truth, however, is that effective programming doesn’t need to be overly complicated – especially for the casual gym member. Sure, a full-time, elite athlete is going to need a more in-depth program in order to continue to perform at the elite level, but most of us don’t need to implement complicated training programs to see results. Quite the opposite in fact – for most people the simpler the program the better. The main point of what I’m trying to get across here is to have a plan.

An effective plan for your training can reap huge dividends for your results. Establish the goals you want to reach and put together a way to reach them. Want to get strong? Put together a plan that will get you strong. Don’t just go into the gym and try to toss around heavy weight in random exercises. Lay out in advance the exercises you are going to do, with what weight, for what reps and sets. That doesn’t mean you have to follow that plan to every detail, but at least now you have an idea ahead of time. Don’t be that guy standing around trying to figure out what exercise to do next.

Think about it this way: you can have no plan, and maybe you’ll see results by coincidence, OR you can have a good plan in place and see results because there was no other option; your program meant you were going to see results as long as you did it right. The choice is yours.

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