Tai Bo. P90X. Bowflex. Vibrating Ab belts. Beach body. Hip-hop abs. The VO2 mask.
All of these have one overarching theme in common. They were popular and thought to be the next best thing since sliced bread, but they eventually burned out. What seemed to be great ideas ended in a cloud of confusion among the users/followers of the products.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty and where that leads us in today’s writing. Hand me down programs.
While hand me down programs aren’t exactly identical to the products listed above, they still end the same way. A waste of commitment and time from someone who thought they would work wonders for them. These hand me down programs work when individuals first start them, but without logical change and progression to the program and analysis of the individual doing the program, they become obsolete. Results stop being produced and individuals become hung up on a plateau or move on to a different program.
We all learned about plagiarism in school, right? Taking someone else’s work and claiming it as your own or taking someone else’s work and changing a few words without giving credit are both a reflection on an individual.
The instance that I see more often than not in the fitness industry, particularly with online ‘coaches,’ the same program is distributed to multiple individuals from one single individual. Majority of the time that individual who is distributing to the ones below them got it from a single person above them, and so on. I like to term this the deceiving tree. In other words, plagiarism is occurring as the individual giving you a workout program has taken a program made for them and either made changes or simply changed the name and redistributed it to you for a profit.
Deception runs wild. A program intended for one individual that is given to a client should not be identical or have one or two exercises changed and redistributed. Let me ask you, if you and all other clients that fall under your ‘coach’ were together in the same gym, how many of you would be doing identical/almost identical programming? Which would lead me to ask, how original is that programming? Or, was it thought through at all or simply a name change in an excel sheet?
Every individual is unique; therefore their program should be unique. I understand that a lot of athletic teams tend to gravitate towards identical programs, but there’s more than meets the eye in regards to athletic programming. The general population/power lifters/Olympic lifters aren’t all the same and don't have the same needs or goals. Cookie cutter programs that exist ultimately lead to stale outcomes and lacking results, or even worse, injury.
Some tips to help you determine what’s going on with your program:
Look at the credentials of who is making your program: Are they qualified? Degree based? Holding certifications other than a CPT (certified personal trainer) from an organization?
DON’T be afraid to ask WHY: Why are you doing a certain exercise? Why is your program template the way it is? Why does your program look like an exercise database filled it in without much thought to the exercises themselves? Why does your template look like your ‘coaches’ template, whose template also looks identical to their ‘coaches’ template and so on.
Investment: Gauge if your instructor is invested in you, in your health, and in your goals. Do they genuinely care that your goals are being reached? Do they only post about you when heavy things are being lifted for promotion to others (looking at you Instagram)? Does it seem solely income based for them?
The Bottom Line:
Rarely, if ever, will you see someone at The Rack on an identical program as someone else. Base strength is developed in similar fashions, but every individual has individual needs. Assessments are given, programs are made in regards to goals, and progress is made. Continued progress results in greater commitment and the process repeats itself.
The staff is well equipped with degrees, certifications, and other tools to design based for success. No ‘DM for programming’ is necessary; our results speak for themselves.