Structure OR Creativity?
If I was to ask you what is more important for long-term sustained progress with your training would you choose a structured program or a flexible creative routine?
Most people I ask, say structure is more important.
Generally, I agree.
But like I’ve said in other blog posts, it depends.
When you’re just starting out with a training program, it makes sense to use a structured plan.
You need it. It will help keep you focused on what’s MOST important.
Same for guys who are coming back to training after a layoff. Structure can get you back in the game for a few months.
Then you can start to get more creative after developing those strong fitness habits.
Should training be fun?
A lot of folks I work with don’t enjoy exercise. It’s a chore, just like eating healthy.
Is this just the way it is? Should everyone just suck it up and get it done?
My initial response is YES, but there’s more to it.
Training should be hard. It is uncomfortable. You’ll sweat, strain, grunt, and breathe hard.
That being said, there ARE ways to think about your training time that can help you get more out of it.
Looking at personal records, for instance. Setting a new personal best is motivating. It feels great to know you went beyond what you’ve ever done before.
In a way, THAT is fun.
Getting creative is gratifying
For years I followed programs as written. Sometimes I would alter the plan just a little bit, to suit my needs, but generally I stuck to the structure on paper.
Those years were great for learning how to train, how to write programs, and also building discipline and good training habits.
Eventually I got to a point where I needed to start getting creative with my routines.
I craved it.
It’s always been part of my personality to try new things myself. Get an idea, write it out, experiment. Fail, learn, fail, achieve, fail, learn, adapt, evolve..
That’s been the process and I love it.
For my current training needs, being flexible in how I program my weekly training is essential.
Most of the time I have a general idea what I’m going to do that day in the gym or outside, but I’m also open to changing it when necessary.
Often, this happens spontaneously just before, or during training.
How about structure AND creativity together…
What about the best of both worlds? Having a structure in place that allows for creativity.
There are a ton of ways to make this work.
For example: 4 days per week of strength training- each day you do two main lifts- two of them are upper body/two are lower body.
You know you want to do a deadlift and squat variation for the lower body days and a press and row for your upper body days.
That’s the structure. Your creativity allows you to choose the reps/sets and assistance exercises for each day.
In that example you get the best of a structured plan, while also giving you some freedom to be flexible with what you do in the gym each week.
There are so many ways to set a program up.
If you need help, I’d be happy to help you. it’s what I do.
Go to my ONLINE TRAINING page for more info.