The majority of athletes program for themselves. Sometimes this is a great thing, and sometimes it means that the athlete is cutting themselves short. I’d like to go over a few mistakes to avoid when programming for yourself. The following seem to be common mindsets that will actually limit the development of an athlete. Do yourself a favor and give these a read.
1) “More is better.” More is not always better. Some athletes are what I like to call “punishers.” These athletes think that they must punish themselves with more sets and more reps. They have a fear that if they don’t punish themselves with more reps, then they are failing themselves, or taking the easy way out. No training session (save for event training or geared lifting) should take you more than 2 hours to accomplish. If you are at the gym for 3 hours doing 7 plus exercises for 5+ sets of 10 reps, you are likely doing too much volume. For athletes whose goal is to get stronger, it is really challenging to work for longer than a couple hours and still be able to produce work at an intensity high enough to yield maximal results. I like to complete 4 exercises each training day.
– First exercise: Main strength movement. 3 sets of 3-5 reps. Example: Squat.
– Second exercise: Main strength accessory movement. Movement that targets the weakest portion of my main strength movement. 3 sets of 5-8 reps. Example: Light resistance band squats, to help me d