When you head to Google and write something like "muscle-building workout plan” or “health and wellness program” you’ll see hundreds if not thousands of unique routines and workouts you can do.
The question is, should you? After all, these programs seem solid, so why wouldn't you?
The truth is, each training plan is unique, even if in small and subtle ways. The program you choose to follow needs to fit you and your situation. Below, we'll discuss the problem with general programs and four solid reasons why you need a custom workout plan.
The Problem With Most Training Plans Out There
Would you care to guess what the biggest issue with most training plans is? Perhaps it has to do with the exercise selection? Or maybe the overall training volume is at fault? Could it even be the training frequency and overall structure? It's none of those things. The truth is, one of the most significant issues with training plans these days is that most are too general. In other words, the training plan is not suited well for the person using it.
But why is that such a problem? The most obvious reason is that we are all different. Everyone comes with a unique work capacity, injury history, goals, preferences, and schedule. Because of that, no single solution will work equally well for everyone. A general workout plan might work well enough for one person but be a disaster for another.
Consider two people as an example here:
One is forty-five, has a full-time job, a family, and a mortgage. The other one is a twenty-year-old student with no spouse or kids, no mortgage, and no occupation.
Would you say that one training program can work equally well for both? The older person would have to go about his training more cautiously, be careful of the training volume, and take care not to overtrain. In contrast, the student has a much superior ability to recover and can get away with a lot more work and many more mistakes.
Interestingly, whether we realize it or not, we always try to make different plans fit us better. We might start with simple exercise changes, then move to more fundamental aspects such as the training intensity, frequency, and overall volume.
Four Reasons Why You Should Train With A Custom-Made Workout Plan
Seeing as general solutions lead to mediocre results, we must take matters into our own hands and follow plans designed for us. Here are four solid reasons why:
1. It Takes Into Account Your Goals, Preferences, and Schedule
Let's face it:
Each of us has unique goals, schedules, and training preferences. A training program might be fantastic for a person and fulfill them on many levels, yet be a disaster for another. For instance, a given training program might be excellent for helping you achieve your goals. But if you don't enjoy doing it, it's only a matter of time before you give up. In the same line of thought, the program might be useful, but if you continuously struggle due to scheduling constraints, you're also incredibly likely to give up at some point.
Because of that, having a customized workout plan is essential. It is something that suits you and your situation better. For example, if you can only train three days per week, it will accommodate for that. If you mostly care about fat loss and prefer to have shorter circuit-style workouts, it will fit those needs.
2. It Considers Your Injury History (If You Have One)
Injuries are unique to the individual. Each heals at a unique pace, has specific long-term implications, and leaves a long-lasting mark on the person's psyche. If you've ever had to deal with an injury, you understand this all too well.
Now, consider this:
Would you start a training program without being confident that it considers your previous aches and injuries? For instance, if you injured yourself while deadlifting a decade ago, would you now start a training program that includes two variations of the movement? This is why having a personalized training plan is so important. The person who prepares it for you takes into account any past injuries you might have had. More importantly, they help you work through issues, figure out which exercises you should and shouldn't do, and guide you to effective and pain-free training.
3. It Works With The Equipment You Have Available
Let's say that you come across a decent training program online and decide to try it. The only problem is, you don't have the needed equipment to perform the exercises as outlined, so you make tradeoffs. For example:
Dumbbell flyes replace the barbell bench press
Dumbbell rows replace lat pulldowns
Pike push-ups replace overhead presses
Can the program work? Of course. But you lose the original plan's essence and instead use a version that may not work as well.
Using a custom made workout plan is great because you get to work with the available equipment. The person writing it for you takes into account what you have and what you don't. For example, if you have a wide selection of dumbbells, they can make dumbbell exercises the foundation of your training.
As a side note, we offer premium fitness equipment with custom made workout programs and free personal trainer services so if you're looking to get some items for home training, head over to our store and check out the options.
4. It Fits Your Work Capacity And Ability to Recover
As we mentioned above, each person has a unique work capacity and recoverability. A twenty-something student with no job or kids will be able to tolerate a lot more stress than a forty-something man with a family and full-time employment.
When designing a person's training program, it's essential to look at their entire living situation and make good decisions for the training volume, frequency, and intensity.
The person designing your training plan should take all of these things into consideration. Specifically:
Your life stressors
How much sleep you're having
How well you recover between workouts
How much soreness you tend to experience
How experienced you are with training and what kind of workouts you've done in the past
In doing so, you receive a training plan that allows you to progress but doesn't push you to your limits and beyond them. Over time, that results in much greater enjoyability and progression.