Often I am asked what the best program is, what is the best diet, what time of day is best to do cardio, or any other question that insinuates a special plan to accelerate progress in the gym.
The answer is simple and difficult.
In my years of lifting weights I have implemented a wide variety of training programs for my clients and myself. All programs work to some degree. Even programs that are designed horribly work. They won’t work for long, but for a short period of time they do the job.
What most people understand who have had many years in gyms building a respectable base of strength and muscle, the one thing that matters above all is consistency.
Your eating should largely be rooted around solid principles and planning.
This is your baseline eating plan, the specifics of how much are according to your goals.
If you need to gain weight, increase carbs. If you need to lose it, lower carbs.
Of course that is a highly simplistic way of looking at it, but the specifics are what I get paid to do.
This is how you build consistency with an eating plan. You can add variety to your meals when you learn how to adapt to consistent structure. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but once you learn how to eat, you can then start to experiment.
Remember the title of the blog:
First comes the basics. Second comes the repeatable consistency. Last comes the experimentation with variables.
It’s been said by too many to count, the basics of any program are squat, bench, row, hinge, and carry.
While I agree with that in theory, that does little to develop true balance in a training program.
True balance is breaking your body down into major movements:
Those are the 8 pillars of a good training program.
If you think you don’t need to train biceps if you are a strength athlete, maybe you don’t like to have healthy bicep tendons at the best and have sleeve splitting pumps at the worst.
I mean let’s face it, for as much as we love to be strong, the pump feels good.
From those Pillars you can train each of them two times a week and if you need an idea how to lay this out into a training program, I strongly suggest picking up the Ashman Strength Book 2 to lead you in that direction. I would say hire me, or join our gym but you can start with a cheap ebook.
That is 16 movements a week – 4 days a week of training – 4 movements per day.
This is work a majority of us are able to do barring injuries or physical limitations.
These are the basics. Those basics can be expanded upon according to goals.
Bodybuilding? Add volume and more specific exercises.
Powerlifting? Spend more time practicing and becoming stronger at the 3 core powerlifts.
Strongman? Cycle in implement training.
You need to master the basics and be consistent with them before you deviate. You need to lay the foundation before you paint.
This is what consistency is built from, the basics and continued and repeated applications of them.
After 44 years my own program is still rooted in the basics. I squat, I press, I row, I carry, and I definitely train arms. I eat the same foods everyday so I know exactly what works for me, when I can deviate, and how my body reacts to it.
I understand not everyone needs to, or will be, like this but developing consistency in habits will help you develop consistency in progression.
If you need help with this, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pick up a copy of the Ashman Strength System Version 2.0 .
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