6 tips to design your own exercise program

muscle building

Apart from the often unnecessary questions about supplements and so-called "secrets" for building muscle, most people want to have information about the ideal exercise program. It can be difficult to differentiate between multiple muscle building systems. Even before the Internet had prevailed and bodybuilding magazines had been the only sources, there were already several different approaches. In the age of the World Wide Web, the choice is no longer manageable. Maybe you have already tried many of these programs - like the German volume training, HIT or a lot of "strength centric" routines (eg 5 × 5) - but there are still hundreds or thousands of copyrighted training methods. Just about every one of the authors claims to have found the best training options. Let me tell you one thing: the perfect system does not exist. Luckily. Just about every program can work if you make enough effort. This is especially true if you are still a beginner. If you compare two athletes, one of whom trains a ridiculous-looking exercise with 100 percent commitment, and the other a half-hearted runterspult a well-designed program, will always be the hard-training in the advantage sein. Apart from there are quite a few elements of a proper program design to which you should pay attention. A smart workout is good. Hard work will always be better. The best results are achieved with a combination of both. Whether you are designing your own routine or training for a ready-made program, you should always pay attention to the following points before you start. 

1. There is not the perfect routine

Anyone who claims that his system is the only way to successfully build muscle is dubious. Surely you should follow certain basic principles, but far too many exercisers stick to their one workout program and do not change it even if they do not progress. If you want to find the right routines for your current training and for the future, then be open and curious about new things. Even the classic basic exercises will not work for you forever, which is probably why you'll have to change things anyway to see continuous improvements again. 

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2. Set yourself long-term training goals

Each program only develops its strengths, if you think long term. Maybe you want to increase the weight of the bench press noticeably within 12 weeks, or you may want to lose half a kilo of fat per week until you reach your desired figure. These are very short-term goals. Serious and sustainable training is a life's work that takes years to build an attractive body or strength. Of course, you can sometimes make big leaps in development in a short time, but you should not switch from one program to another every few months. Rather, choose a routine (or better, a set of training principles) that will advance you even if you occasionally shift the focus from building muscle to losing weight. 

3. Concentrate on the essentials

Extraordinary exercises have their place in the training programs, especially if you have already reached an advanced level of development and henceforth need different workouts to get ahead. If you are a beginner, or if you are in a phase where you are neither a beginner nor a pro, you should confine yourself to the basic exercises. For you, in such a case, first of all exercises such as squats as well as press and pull exercises with short or long dumbbells. You can also use machines. Pay attention to the fact that they can imitate dumbbell exercises, because you make better progress with it. Even world-class bodybuilders and so-called "power lifters" rarely deviate from the proven exercises for their training. 

4. Increase the weights

Many training programs from magazines and the Internet lack an essential element for successful muscle growth: progression. You will make endless sets and repetitions of each exercise, but you will not advance until you increase the weights. Since this basic rule obviously only strengthens athletes who do not frolic on the Internet or read journals, still holds the myth that for muscle building an athlete must not be stronger. The increase in weight is by no means the only way to success. Also, you will not be able to put a little weight on it all the time. Therefore, you should also consider other approaches to further development - such as additional repetitions, complementary equipment, more training sessions or even shorter rest periods. Increasing the weights should always be your actual goal. You will always be on the right path as you progress tangibly from training to training.

5. Set realistic goals

High goals are something fine. Most people can gain an incredible amount of muscle and strength when they are fully engaged. But you have to stay realistic and make it clear what you can actually achieve in a given timeframe. If you are genetically more average and already have your first beginner successes behind you, you will hardly have the chance to build up a pound of muscle mass per week or to double your strength within a year or even faster. You can set your long-term goals for the long-term, but be realistic when looking at what you can achieve within a few months. In addition, you should disregard the simultaneous loss of muscle and fat until you have built up a sufficient mass of muscle. If you find yourself too fat, first concentrate on losing weight and do endurance sports until you feel comfortable in your body. If you're slim enough, you can focus on weight training. If you do both at once, you're not going to change yourself so much and sooner or later you'll be very frustrated. 

6. Listen to your body

You certainly understand the importance of proper nutrition and enough breaks for muscle recovery. But even with the right foods and a lot of sleep you can still be tired. To ensure adequate rest and muscle growth, you need to include the recovery periods in your exercise plan. This does not mean that you should not go to the gym for a week or more. 

After all, you never really know how strong you are, as long as you do not go to the studio. In addition, too long training breaks are counterproductive and jeopardize your goals. Any break lasting more than a week should justify yourself to yourself, as it would result in muscle loss. Finally, you lack the appropriate training for your muscle. Instead, you should adjust your program as possible "on the fly". Some days you will feel bad and still perform at their best, while on other days, despite good feeling, you will not be able to reach your peak scores. In such cases, you should reduce the weights, reduce the number of repetitions, or reduce the total amount of training so that you can be fresh and ready to tackle the following day of training.