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The most important aspect of your workout program is…

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Adherence

Generally, one size never fits all for anything. What works for me, it may not work for you, it may not work for John Doe. Just as you need consistency without your diet, you need to consistently get your workouts done, if they’re not fun then that’s unlikely to happen and that’s probably why people have a hard time sticking to diets. Diets are often not fun due to eating lower or larger quantities compared to what you would prefer. The lack of fun may be why people often fall of the wagon, but that’s another topic.

Typically I would find a linear progressively more difficult training program to be ideal for strength gains. I’m perfectly satisfied squatting 3x/wk and deadlifting 2x/wk, if my body could handle it I would probably deadlift 7x/wk because I look forward to it, I have special bars I use for certain lifts, it’s a healthy obsession!

If someone else hates deadlifting and hates squatting, they should probably still do both. However, following a linear program were weight is slowly amped up each session and workouts are extremely repetitive probably won’t be much fun. It will be difficult for that person to get motivated to go to the gym each time. If that person craves variety then their programming should be filled with variety! The end game is that person will end up doing more work when they’re motivated to do it.

All programming is not created equally. Many, many things work to get people stronger and/or lose weight but it’s all how it’s applied. If someone doesn’t like squatting 5×5 and skip workout days then a tried and true program will not work for them, common sense.

As a personal trainer I attempt to fit people with what works for them. I’ve found often with the general population clientele it’s typically on the side of variety. Few clients in my history have preferred the more tedious squat/dead/bench/row linear progression. It’s all about what gets you in the gym door and working.

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About the Author:

Taylor Carpenter is a nationally Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Taylor was featured as a fitness expert in the first publication of NASM's "The Fitness Edge".
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