Brace yourself: Fat Loss Challenges to get you ready for summer are coming!

For decades different types of programming have flooded infomercials world wide. Each one claiming to have a different effect based on whatever goal the buyer may have. Some of them become big names and get adopted by all sorts of organizations, including high level sports teams and Hollywood actors and actresses. People look at these things and think that this one size fits all program is going to help them look their absolute best. Usually leaving people frustrated or turning them off to “programming” completely. 

Story Time

Recently a good friend of mine and I became accountability partners. We spend a good portion of the day texting back and forth about how we’ve been training, eating, etc. This particular day, we went down a rabbit hole because this friend, one whom I look up to as far as health and fitness level, told me that he didn’t really have a program that he followed. It was insanely hard for me to grasp how this guy who is in great shape, just walks into a gym and randomly chooses what he wants to do.

The more I dug, the more I found out that programs from former athletic programs left a bad taste in his mouth. He hated the feeling of being stuck doing a bunch of exercises on a piece of paper. Nothing he could find seemed to help him with his own goals. So when I offered he said thanks, but no thanks.

After the declination I continued to ask questions because I was bound and determined to show him how programming could benefit his strength goals. He told me how his week usually lines up and what his big lift numbers were and here is where that conversation led.

Not all programs look like programs

As I found out more about how my friend liked to workout, I realized that he did in fact have a framework of a program. But, I could see holes in it that might hold him back. So I asked if he’d let me give him a few tips to work smarter and not harder. I ‘programmed’ the numbers for his big lift sets, gave him advice on better exercise selection based on a given day and said, “Boom, I just programmed for you, that’ll be $75.”

The more years I put in as a coach, the more I realize there are certain biases that I have to let go of. In this case, my buddy simply wanted his freedom to do what he wanted in the gym. All he needed was a little direction. And though most of these years have been spent getting paid for writing organized exercise lists, or programs for short, allowing someone to keep their freedom in the gym can be just as big as writing the perfect program.

After the changes, his recovery is elevated, his strength is elevated and I gave him nothing but a few tips and numbers on a sheet of paper based on his max lifts.

The Takeaway

Everyone is different (as if I had to tell you that), some folks need to be coached at 100%. Meaning they want to be pushed by a coach, have a program written by a coach and work through their journey with their coach, or guide. Others enjoy the freedom of going to the gym, getting a workout in and going home without really thinking too much about it. 

What I’ve come to find is that everyone can benefit from some sort of programming. Whether it be an entire program or just parts of it programmed for you to make that “freedom” that much better, it doesn’t really matter. The idea of a “program” doesn’t need to bring back bad memories. If done correctly, it should allow YOU to measure what YOU want to accomplish and still give you the freedom you desire in your workout.

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Nick Lape is the head strength & conditioning coach at Fit To Hunt