Body Conquest Articles | Pro Builders Program
Pro Builders ProgramEffective, workable programs are frequently published and are a dime a dozen. There is an old axiom '1000 trainers', 1000 programs'. There are any number of professional instructors who can design and help implement magnificent bodybuilding programs. However one has to use a great deal of caution if considering using a program pulled from the plethora of bodybuilding magazines on newspaper stands today. I am not suggesting that you shouldn't follow a pro builders program, but rather that you sit down and consider a number of factors before deciding to pursue a program that has not being individually tailored to you.
For starters, these recommended programs have been designed for someone else-for their goals not yours. So, if your goals do not mirror theirs wholly and completely, then the program may not help you to achieve what it is that you are wishing to pull off. For example, if your goals are to improve your shape and you follow a mass building program, then achieving the desired changes in symmetry is probably not going to be achieved as quickly as it otherwise might be. Similarly, if you have your desired size, but wish to refine your shape in specific areas, then following a pro's mass building program is not going to compliment your goals effectively.
Secondly, you need to ask yourself do you have a similar body type and do you possess a similar shape? If you do, then you may pass "go". But if you are an ectomorph and you are following an endomorphs program, then it is not going to work as successfully for you. What would the point be in following a program of a pro builder that has a lack of upper chest development and poor hamstring development if you have really great hamstrings and a well-developed set of upper pecs? You need a program that targets your flaws, not someone else's. If you lack width across the delts and need bigger quadriceps, then you need to follow a program that addresses these issues specifically. Some published programs may not even include a specific body part, for example, abdominal training, due to that individuals strong, unique, naturally developed torso. However you on the other hand may require abdominal training religiously three times a week to achieve the look you want.
Most trainees don't realise how important intelligence is as a predictor of bodybuilding improvement, especially when physical genetics aren't optimal. Intelligent people will avidly search for solutions to their problems. Examples that spring to mind are people like Larry Scott, Frank Zane and even the great Arnold Schwarzenegger. They all overcame various physical flaws with diligent observation and by choosing the right solutions and then went on to become great bodybuilders.
You also need to pay attention to your injuries, niggles and complaints. Many programs have considered the injuries of the individual and factored the choices of exercises, as well as the order, rep range and intensity accordingly. There may be no point in you following a printed program that includes lots of rotator cuff strengthening exercises and an abbreviated shoulder routine if you have never had a rotator cuff injury and your shoulders are sturdy. These factors are "hidden" in programs that are printed on behalf of professional bodybuilders. Professionals are exactly that due to their supreme knowledge of their own bodies. The public may not even be aware of stars muscular weaknesses, as they don't want their flaws being publicly noted. So they or their program designers/prescriptionists take their injury issues into account and tailor their programs accordingly.
Another important aspect you must bear in mind is whether or not you are taking the pharmaceuticals and supplements that that particular star is taking. How an elite bodybuilder supports their training and nutritional program is crucial to the overall success of the program being followed. If your budget is well below the requirements of that particular program's then your goals once again are not going to be reached. Can you afford to take similar supplements? Do you have access to any pharmaceuticals that your program may require? Do you wish to supplement at all? If you take your time to find out your own information on the basics of training, nutrition and helpful ergogenic and nutritional aids, then you will be in a better position to make an informed decision of whether or not it is worthwhile following the program in question.
Each trainee is going to have different hormonal make-ups and good programs even take this into account when being designed, based on the individuals hormonal profiles. The ideal hormonal make-up for bodybuilding would include a high natural production of androgens and growth hormone, low levels of cortisol, and a strong sensitivity to insulin. Those who are blessed with superior hormone profiles will often even see growth even in untrained body parts. Specific supplements are currently on shelves to aid those who have less than superior hormone profiles and these should complement your chosen program.
If you follow a program calculated and planned upon someone else's physiques and respective objectives and you follow it as if it is set in stone, you run the risk of lack of flexibility within your own training sessions. An important aspect of training is ensuring that you allow for spontaneity and 'instinctive' training. On any particular day you may train according to affecting factors such as mood, how a set or choice of exercise is feeling, energy levels, level of 'pump', feelings of effectiveness and so on. It is important to leave some room for training freshness and the dynamism of the day to go off on a tangent if you feel the urge. If you are blindly following a program and believe that you cannot deviate from any factor involved in the following of it, then you are relegating yourself to inflexible, rigid and possibly unmotivating training sessions.
Changing your program frequently is probably a good idea so I would not advise to follow any one single program for extensive periods of time anyway. Changing your program every 8-12 weeks is a good idea. For example, you might follow Mike Mentzer's Heavy duty workout for 6 weeks, then follow one of Charles' Poliquin's routines for 6 weeks, and then try Dan Duchaine's Body-Contract Workout. It is difficult to decide what program is best for you to follow, but I think there are quite a few bodybuilders out there in our gyms doing a lot of "maintenance training" because they're sticking with the same program for too long. For example, how many trainees always start their chest training with the bench press? These are also the people who question why they have been unable to increase their bench strength for a very long time!
Logistical factors also need to be considered. Is the program you are wanting to keep to viable for you in terms of number of times you need to put an appearance in at the gym, is it workable for your time management, does it allow enough time for your recovery- or if you follow it to a tee, would you be in jeopardy of over training? Does it require a training partner and do you have, or want one?
A programs success in dependent upon various issues, such as those discussed above. Individual trainees are always going to respond differently to one another- known as the principals of specificity of training and individual differences. It is important to not just pick up the latest issue of your favorite muscle mag and haphazardly follow any old program that happens to be printed on the basis that you like the bodybuilder who is purporting to follow it. Training hard is crucial but training smart is even more important, and you can only be as smart as the program that you are adhering to.