It’s that start of a new program that has limitless possibilities that I really enjoy. The thought of new PR's and the day to day battle that just gets me fired up to get started.
I have a system I have used for years when it comes to programs starting way back when with that "ADD 50lbs TO YOUR BENCH ROUTINE" out of an old MM2k Magazine that really just grounded your shoulders to dust and made sure I never wanted to flat bench ever again.
1. Print it out and make it nice and neat in a folder or composition book. I have training logs dating back from high school. You guys remember those.
Squat 2 sets of 10
Curls 42 sets of 10
2. Read through it. Look at potential dates that may cause heartache for others. "Squats on Christmas?" Looks like the kids will be opening up presents a little late that day.
3. Look up and check out video of lifts I have never heard of or do regularly.
4. Check it thoroughly for potential typing errors. Did it really mean "10 sets of 3 Front Squat on the minute @ 85%"? Good Lord I hope that’s a mistake.
5. Then set back and try to imagine what the true intent of this program is and wrap my head around it. Is it to get me stronger? Ok that’s fine but in the back of my head I have to realize for a while my O-lifts are going to take a hit so don’t jump out the window if and when they do.
Other rules I have
1. Realize that if there prescribed %'s that it’s not set in stone. If it’s not there don’t force but by all means if you know it’s there then get it.
2. Have fun with it. Get someone else involved with me if I can. Training is fun, training with a couple of people who are on the same page is even better.
3. Respect the program. Especially if you know the guy/gal who wrote it. Odds are they spent some time on it and put some work into it. The last thing they want to hear is "Hey can we take all that crap out and add..." If you have limitations let them know before they write it.
Remember the 2 best kinds of training programs are the one you believe in and the next one.
Mike Gray is a weightlifter for Team Catalyst Athletics.