Which Template is Right For Me?

Which Template is Right For Me?

To keep this as short as possible, there are two things you have to factor in on what template/program is right for you.

1. Do you really want to do the program/template? You have to really be honest with yourself with this question. Are you doing it because it looks awesome to you and it "flips your cookie"? Or are you doing it because people are talking about it, it's the new sensation and you don't want to be left behind? This goes for not just your template but your exercise selection and especially what you do for conditioning and mobility. But, and this is a HUGE FAT BUTT - somethings have to be done in order for you to reach your goals. And really, if you have any kind of drive or desire to reach your goals, you can stomach just about anything. But in general - really want to be excited about the program you are doing.

2. Are you prepared physically/mentally to do the program? As an example - let's say you are Benny Beginner and you read some articles about using a circa-max phase for your squat. Well, guess what - you aren't remotely prepared for the program - so stop trying to fit your fat ass into a slim-fit program. There are thousands of examples of people trying programs they aren't ready for. Now many programs that are built for X can fit Y - for example, most basic programs - provided there is some common sense and progression - are fine for beginners even if they aren't necessarily "perfect." And when I say "perfect", I mean "internet perfect" - meaning the internet somehow became judge and jury on what beginners can and can't do.

A more blatant and obvious example is someone who is very overweight and out of shape - his program can't be what Sammy SixPack has been doing for the past 5 years. He may be able to take some morsels/principles of what Sammy is doing (conditioning/mobility/strength training) but they have to be massively tailored to what his current preparedness will allow him to do. I've worked with many people who were physically just horrid - and 1-2 movements a workout is all they could handle. And that's FINE! I remember reading an interview with John Broz and he was asked what his beginner program was for people that came into the gym. Lots of technique work and muscle building. And no, they didn't max out and workout twice/day. They did what they were prepared for AT THAT TIME.  If you are the guy that goes super hard for a couple weeks to a month and then always fizzles out - this one is for you.  If you fall off the wagon early and around the same time, you're overestimating your starting point.  If that super special program is just out of reach right now, commit to a more manageable program for 8 weeks so you earn a chance at it.

The point of all of this is - want to do something that you can actually do/handle. Be honest with yourself and enjoy the process.  And if you don't know what you're doing, pick a simple, tested and proven program and do it as written!  Stop negotiating before, during and after every workout so you can actually focus on training.


If you have read 5/3/1 and are ready for more advanced long term programming methods, check out 5/3/1 Forever.  Forever is not a beginner book.  Jumping to more advanced programming techniques will be confusing to those without the proper 5/3/1 programming base.  

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