I won't beat around the bush, tease you for a handfull of paragraphs and keep you hanging around waiting with bated breath for the answer to the question everyone wants to know, how do I create a workout program? I'll tell you upfront.
The very best way to create a workout program is from the bottom up.
This means starting with a small amount of high-quality exercise then, slowly adding more after you have measured the results of the work you've already done. Some might find this to be tedious and too slow of a method for discovering what is ideal. However the time spent during this process is well worth it over the long-run as you gain a better sense and understanding of what you need to do to realize future success. The most difficult aspect of this process for those with limited exercise experience or who never received proper exercise instruction (i.e. 98 percent of those who work out on their own) will be determining whether the exercise being performed is truly high in quality (see last blog entry: ).
Immediate success does not come except by chance. And even then continued success will be hard to come by because you will be unaware or get a false sense of the cause for your immediate success. If you are someone with two or more years of training under your belt reflect for a moment on all the different training programs you’ve tried that have been unsuccessful in delivering the results promised. Most of them were likely routines plucked right out of a magazine or book designed by someone who knows nothing about you yet still prescribed specific rep ranges, number of sets or workout splits to perform each week.
What every one of these "canned" exercise programs or workouts has in common is that they each have you performing arbitrary amounts of exercise, after which, you still have no idea why or how the program did or did not work. As with all "canned" routines your outcome is a roll of the dice.
If over that same span of years you had endeavored to work from the bottom up as opposed to searching for the "magic workout" and jumping from one set of training criteria to a completely different set, you would today have a better understanding of what works best for you. Your chances for continual progress would be much improved because you could now predict with some certainty what will transpire if you chose to take your training in one direction versus another based upon the information you gathered and your understanding of past experience. Instead you are probably just as confused today as you were back when you first started, about what to do and how to do it.
We live in a society that wants immediate results. Just watch some of the fitness infomercials or read the ads in fitness magazines and you'll notice a common thread. Each product promises to deliver results fast. Rarely do they live up to their hype. Although the "bottom up" approach may not be as enticing, it assures you of a better understanding of what works best for you and how you can make informed decisions in the future to make or maintain your progress.
While everyone else will be plodding through their workouts hoping to stumble upon something that works, you will already be in possession of your key to success...information.