Programming is about as confusing as it gets in the fitness industry, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Many people go around looking for the best program whether it be for nutrition or for lifting. This occurs with bodybuilding, powerlifting, and everything in between. The best program, the best exercises, and the best food as if there was only one formula to getting the results you want. Here are a few reasons it isn’t smart to skip from program to program without following it for at least a few weeks.
Reason #1: You Learn From It
By following a program for a few months to a year, you are able to learn what in the program is leading to success and what in the program isn’t doing anything for you. For example, if your squat stalls and you switch to squatting 3-4x a week and your squat shoots up, then you know that you needed more frequency. However, if the squat goes down or doesn’t seem to get any better, then you know that increased frequency is not what you need. Even if the squat doesn’t improve, you improve by learning something about how your body reacts.
Reason #2: You Need to Wait
Strength and muscle gains are not made in the middle of a program, they occur after when adequate rest is present. If you jump through 3 programs in the span of 12 weeks, then there’s no way to know which one of them elicited a 20 lbs increase on your squat. It could’ve been the 1st or 2nd program, but because you just now feel stronger, you assume it’s the 3rd one that is actually not giving you anything. They require time to work. Nothing happens overnight, and you should never expect a crazy increase in strength or size in a month. Give it awhile.
Reason #3: There is No Magic Program
No program on earth is suddenly going to add 20 lbs of muscle or 200 lbs to your powerlifting total. The best program is the one you follow and tailor to your own specific needs. Even the most world-renowned programs will only work if you follow them and adjust them to your weaknesses. This is where a coach is highly beneficial because they are able to adjust your program for you. A good coach will be able to tell if your back is stronger in comparison to your legs, or if your upper body is significantly weaker than your lower.
Stick to the program for a few months, if progress stalls look more at where you are weak or if form needs to be adjusted. Get after it.