The Three Principles for Successful Programming


Do Some Deadlift Ladders and Watch Yourself Grow
Do Some Deadlift Ladders and Watch Yourself Grow

Trainers frequently get asked many of the same questions most of which are concentrated on the area of weight loss and adding muscle. The questions usually starts out something like this; what is the best (or quickest) way to lose fat and build muscle?…Most are looking for an easy way out or the magic bullet approach that allows them to get that maximum amount of benefits with minimum amount of work.

Though this is not the attitude for success, the good news is training to get the results you want need not be complex, in fact it is pretty simple with a little bit of planning and the will to execute your goals are right around the corner. I have written before about how to get started with the program that is right for you and in this article I discuss three principles that you can keep in mind while constructing your training program to achieve your goals.


Remember all training should be personal. Usually we associate this term with solely working with a trainer, but in actuality it should be thought about in any training format. Whether you train in your garage, at a gym or in a circuit class, you need to make it about yourself. What are your goals, areas of strength and areas you neglect and need to improve?

Build your program around these concepts and then determine your environment that will help you be the most successful with it. Whether you train alone, with a trainer who guides you through the process or a like-minded training partner put yourself in the correct environment that allows your personal goals to flourish and be achieved.

Bench PressProgressive

Just like in life, if you don’t move forward then you might as well enjoy your time in the cloud of mediocrity. You need goals and aspirations that challenge and engage you to be a better person than you were when you started your journey and your training program should reflect that.

Track your progress in a notebook or one of those fancy apps for your phone so you know where you stand and where you want to be. I like to set ultimate goals where I see myself complete a challenge by the end of the year. I also like to have daily workout goals that I make when I assess how I feel and how I am going to train that day.

After your goals are realized for the long term and for the workout, look at your program and examine how you are going to progress to build a better you. Did you finish your bench press session last week completing 1 set x 3 reps x 250lbs? Great! This week if you are feeling strong go for more weight or reps   of the same weight. If you don’t feel the time is right to move up maybe you try two sets of 250lbs.

Whatever is right for you find ways to better that workout so you are moving forward and avoiding the potential pitfall of remaining stagnant.


I truly believe that the biggest thing one can do to be successful with your training is by making an effort to do it. No doubts, no what ifs no excuses. Believe me I am aware that each day brings a new challenge to your life and the potential to skip training. How could you feel like a world beater on Monday and Wednesday if you don’t even think you can lift half the amount of weight you did two days earlier?

If there is a will or way you can get some type of training in. Just do it (thanks Nike). Your goals for that day may change from a squat PR to working on more mobility and bodyweight pull-ups; that’s OK, do not be afraid of changing your program to go by how you feel. Your body has a good sense of self preservation and steering you into the right direction to be successful.

Mentally can’t do weights that day? Try going for a track workout or do some jump rope intervals. The key is to find something your mind tells you you can do that day so you keep moving forward. Save the complete rest days for vacations, emergencies and the stressed and lethargic days.