When you buy my template, not only will you become stronger, but it's all you'll ever need. Have you ever heard a popular coach or coach say this?
Templates are offered for sale, usually as an eBook or as a PDF file with illustrated instructions. The pitch implies that it is easy to understand, to do and to promote consistency. It is often a twelve, sixteen, or twenty-four week program that you can do repeatedly without changing much.
And that's the big selling point – it's easy, so you can do it over and over again. The coach will put forward supporting arguments, eg For example, if you focus on the basics you consider necessary in a training program, everyone can evolve unlimited, You just have to have enough discipline and devout obedience to the teachings.
Why exercise programs?
There is nothing wrong with a training template. Some are very well designed and helpful to the great majority, This is because, from a training perspective, people fit into one of only a few physiological categories and the need for individual variation is much less than most people think.
But if the creators of these programs insist that their twelve-week program is anything anyone ever needs to boost their strength, and some of them claim it, things will be weird. To claim this is misleading and can slow down the growth and long-term development of young, easy-to-influence lifters. It also hinders their mental insight into the training process.
There is the unspoken problem that training programs are written by trainers who only have experience with drug-lifting, and by trainers who have consistently used them. I'm not an idealist who thinks that a coach like this does not have good ideas for drug-free athletes. You can get a glimpse when you look at and work with the edges of a sport or workout.
However, a training program must be considered from the point of view of the trainer, If the trainer is not ahead and claims that a natural lift training plan can be repeated with little or no timing change, especially in training volumes, this will cause confusion.
To understand why a template can not be endlessly repeated, we need to look at changes that come with a developing lifter as the chronological and cumulative training age progresses. We start with the sequence.
Changes in age
Physiology changes with physical age. This means that the type of training you perform must be changed every year. On your birthday cake is still a candle. How much of each training component and how much work needs to be adjusted? The degree of change, however, depends on when you started training and how consistent it was, A forty-year-old lifter, who has been with him since puberty, needs more work to maintain his strength than someone the same age as mid-thirties.
The effectiveness with which we cushion stress as we age increases regardless of the workload to which we have adapted. This can be seen from how many times a younger person can lift weights near their maximum weight compared to an older person,
Someone in their early twenties can not only do more than 90% of their maximum number of repetitions than someone in their forties, but also recovers better and benefits more. The ability to do this decreases with age, The training you complete should reflect not only how old you are at the beginning of the training and how many volumes you've built, but also how old you are now.
Changes in content the longer you exercise
Training programs can have adequate creative input from the person who writes them. Yet, there are non-negotiable standards that every training system and plan must meet to be effective,
Variation is one of these fundamental aspects. Some place too much value on change and think about it inaccurately. The difference between the volume over months, the training cycles and the training years, however, is crucial, Overly changing exercises and training methods for inexperienced athletes can be detrimental to progress. The training volume and even the exercises, however, need to be changed, modified and twisted gradually to ensure development as the athlete gets older.
The overall training volume often needs to be increased over time. The longer you work out, the more work you will need to get stronger and build more muscle. With increasing training age (how long you train regularly), the total workload must also increase. The total volume requires that we look at the training from a macro view that accumulates the total volume that needs to be increased with each exercise block.
Increase over similar phases
When considering training phases, these must be considered over several months. You can think of a training phase as the time to emphasize the development of physical quality. Adequate training includes periods of high volume hypertrophy cycles designed to build muscle and work performance, followed by lower volume force cycles. Heavy weights followed by a peak cycle, however, consist of even lower volumes, but much practice in lifting near maximum loads. Volume and intensity must fluctuate in each of these cycles. The more experienced the lifter becomes, the more volume he must add on average to these hypertrophy and strength cycles to maintain and advance the power.
As a rule, the lifter has to spend more volume in each training phase each year to make improvements, This means that if you kept detailed records of your practice, the hypertrophy and strength cycles that you planned for this year would have more total headroom volumes than the equivalent training cycles two years ago.
Even if your maximum and the daily weight you use in training increase, the total workload will increase over time as you can better and more competently absorb the stress of this work. Training plans must take this into account, and any template that does not clearly define how the volume should be increased is incomplete and ultimately useless. Do not use it as a long-term training.
Qualification change of the lift
Although the total minimum volume a lifter needs for training gradually increases over time, the weightlifter's qualifications affect the degree of change. These qualifications are based on body weight, gender and abilities, While theoretically each lifter will be capable of and requires a higher average volume than years of consistent, hard training, the degree to which it increases can vary from group to group in each skill level.
The average volume a lifter needs theoretically increases over the years of training, However, as a lifter develops to a higher level of skill, volume may decrease in certain phases of training compared to those with similar experience but who are smaller and weaker.
The clearest example would be a young male powerlifter who is steadily gaining body weight over years of competition. Suppose this young man started powerlifting in his early twenties and weighed less than 200 pounds. He started out as a strong boy who quickly squatted over 400 pounds. With increasing age and increasing experience, he gained body weight and increased in several weight classes. His power and abilities rose, and during that interval he began to calculate the increase in volume, even when dealing with heavier weights.
Ten years later he became an elite powerlifter. He now weighed well over 300 pounds and was able to squat over 900 pounds. He gradually began to reduce the volume he used during certain phases of training just because he could not recover. Yes, he had built up a very high specific work capacity, but the weights he now needed to use in daily training were just too high to handle the same amount of volume.
85 percent of 400 pounds do not decompose the body just as much as 85 percent of 900 pounds, no matter how you slice it. Ultimately, the absolute weight you are dealing with becomes the most important determinant, This is especially true in a high phase of competition when you train with 90% or more of a very high 1RM. At this level, weights need to be reduced to allow you to recover and benefit from training at near maximum load. The training plan must take this into account.
I use an extreme example, but it does not discredit the point. With consistent training, lifters can reach a point where they need to adjust and even reduce volume in similar training phases simply because they can not recover from the stress of such heavyweights and become stronger. Training plans must remain dynamic and take these changes into account,
Why are such templates so popular?
Most consumers buy on the basis of emotions, impulses or a connection they have with the company or the person who created the product. It is also common that members of the fitness community are very connected and loyal to a particular coach, training method or coach.
Many people stick to a personal trainer, even if they have doubts about their education and skills because they feel they have a connection. Likewise, people stick to methods and systems of training because it was the first thing that worked for them, These systems and programs are popular, and luck plays a big part in the programs and services we first see.
Consumers connect with the coaches who create these programs by listening to them and following them on social media. They feel they know them, however silly that may be, and the more strength and fitness a personality propagates, the more their products sell.
With this popularity they connect and attract other circles of influential trainers and form a community. This community isolates and supports each other. And why not? Being connected in this way is both financially and socially beneficial.
The shady thing about this community, however, is that one of the rulers begins to sell a template with the false claims that I have described, Maybe it's hubris, or maybe they do not yet have the wisdom and education to know that they are doing a disservice. When they are behind their creation, their friends go on the offensive against anyone who questions the long-term effectiveness of the product.
As a rule, this leads to an argument about the status rather than to an objective discourse about the relevant material. The community of authorities will say something like: Who are these upstarts in the crowd who would dare to challenge us? Who are they for?
The problem will never be solved, and consumers will not be able to understand what is helpful and what does not help their long-term success.
Fitness pros will also argue that the templates they design are for the average person who does not compete and does not have to focus on setting new maximum barbell lifts.
What does it mean to be an average person? Population needs to be better defined when the coach sells a product for general use. If the program includes barbell lifts and a person is dedicated to this strength training, the application should increase the strength. And to pursue this, the lifter may need a max. To do this, training volumes must change as you approach the phase in which you are seeking to do so. Maybe not first, but at some point when the individual has more experience. And that applies to every average person.
Only for beginners
I've also heard trainers say their training programs are for beginners only, They insist that their template remain unchanged and can never be updated, as it provides a source for the steady influx of beginners to strength training. That's fine, if that was her honest intention. But I have listened carefully to their message and their pitch, and it seems they never tell their audience how to adjust their volume and intensity as they get more experienced or even necessary.
If they were up front, they would explain to their customers that their programs are ideal for newcomers, but the beginner phase is not yet complete. Silence is just as dishonest and confusing as selling the program as something that can be repeated forever.
Look at the training template you are about to start. See if it helps you now and if it will use it. But remember that at the moment it is not forever.
Jesse is active in the Olympic weightlifting and used to be a competitive athlete. He was featured in the most important publications on strength and fitness. You can read more about his work on his website.