Cookie Cutters Are for the Kitchen NOT the Gym

Cookie cutter programs... What are they and why am I talking about them? A cookie cutter program is great if you want mediocre results at best. And at worst you get an injury trying to do exercises you're not ready for or pushing too hard because you are trying to meet the sets and reps prescribed in the program. Long story short: cookie cutter or one size fits all programs are a waste of time at best and dangerous at worst.

One of the main reasons these types of programs don't work for everyone is because we are all unique. I know it sounds cliche, but it's the absolute truth. You take an MRI of anyone's back and you will find disc herniation and bulge, look at someones shoulder you'll find minor rotator cuff tares. That doesn't mean you need to treat or train based on an MRI. But it does mean that not everyone is going to move the same way, and it certainly means a program written for everyone is probably a bad idea. The art of program design revolves around choosing correct exercises, training protocols and a myriad of other variables to best suit your individual needs and goals so you can reap the optimum rewards for your efforts. If the gym or personal trainer you go to has not done a full assessment of you but they are still handing you workouts every session, I would question them about your program design. A full assessment should include: -Physical exam: Looking at how you perform certain movement patterns -Talking about your goals: Why are you at the gym? (loss weight, build muscle, feel better, etc) -Measurements: Height, weight, body fat percentage, etc -Medical history: Past/present injuries or illness -Past physical history: When were you in the best shape of your life? Have you worked with a personal trainer in the past? etc. That is the basic information that every personal trainer that is really trying to help you, will ask for and need to get you the best results fast. If they don't ask any of those questions, one of two things is going on. One, they aren't experienced enough and don't know how to create a program for someone, or two, they are more concerned with your money than your health and well-being.

Either way you are the one that suffers. If you are not going to a gym or have a personal trainer there are some very good resources out there you can use to do a self assessment. The folks over at GMB Fitness put together this video that has 4 simple assessments that can use to see what your starting point is.

Using good online resources is great but there is nothing like having an experienced professional assess you and design a program from you.

If you want more information or have questions, please contact us here at 108 Athletics. We'd be more than happy to help you.

Until next time

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