Which training program should I be using

I get this question a lot as a coach.

The answer is ALL well thought out programs work... To a degree.

An overlooked point in choosing a program is will it fit in with my current lifestyle?

Example - Daniel sleeman has been with the gym now for over a year (Since Feb 2012).
We were reminiscing about the old gym at Silverwater one Saturday morning.
He used to run and swim a lot. Never was into weights that much until he got the lifting bug at PTC.

A successful thirty something year old lawyer by day which meant working long hours in court
He used to carry 2 phones with him around the gym. One for work and 1 for private usage.
He asked me why I never put him on those crazy 4-5 day peaking programs the much stronger guys at PTC were running? The answer was basically he could only attend the gym and train a minimum 3 days a week and had been known to miss a day or two here and there sometimes a whole week due to a court case.  He agreed and understood. That is my job as a coach to advise which program is optimal for the members.

The rule of consistency in any program whether it be 5x5/Madcows/SS/531/ABCDE/Shieko etc is still KEY.
This is just common sense. Do something enough times and u get better and in the case of lifting. Stronger /Faster /Bigger

At PTC we have over 100 members with different backgrounds and stages in life.

- Teenagers and just entering uni/tafe/work experience for example are most of the time not sure what to do with their lives. Yet have all the time in the world and financially free.

- The mid 20’s are busy building a career for themselves while dating and have disposable income but at a price of working longer hours. Most generally also go out to birthdays/anniversaries /holidays a lot on weekends which must be factored into the equation.
- Thirty something aged members such as Daniel usually have an established career and young family but are personally time poor.

I generally use the above info along with other factors in determining what program a member runs.

Trying to run a 2.5 hour sheiko program which takes up 4 days of your week while u work 12 hours a day and only get 4 hours sleep a night due to kids isn’t going to work. It would send your progress backwards.
Some people will say if there’s a WILL there is a way. But for how long can u maintain this juggling act before one piece of the puzzle crumbles and u give it all up? I’m not saying it’s impossible but the amount of people who are elite and in this circumstance are tiny.

For the time poor I would recommend – SS/Texas Method/Mad cows/Strong lifts/Westside/531
as all these programs don’t take as long to train and are mostly just linear progression. If u miss a session or a week u can return to it quite easily without major drawbacks on catching up where u left off.

The ones who have plenty of time would generally run any Russian program such as sheiko/smolov/peaking programs. These programs require a lot more time to train and recover for them to be effective. Any time off or missed days generally affects the overall results. The results however are dramatic if seen through to the end.

All programs work, but not all programs are optimal with your current life’s goals.
Research, test and implement.  Find what works best for you and what will put you in the best position to keep u lifting for a long time.

PTC Sydney

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