Do you know the number one reason why generic workout programs and diets don’t work for most people? Sure, they seem decent enough at first glance, but you’ll rarely hear someone say:
“Yeah, I found a program on Google, ran it for three months, and made a ton of progress.”
It’s been known to happen, but most people who make any progress do so thanks to a tailored plan. Let’s discuss why that is and what it means for you.
We Are All Different
According to research, all humans share 99 percent of their genome. From the 7’0” NBA star to the 5’4” unathletic guy, the Harvard graduate to the person struggling to pass English class, the guy who just looks at weights and builds muscle to the skinny person, we are almost entirely the same. But, that one percent is where our true differences lie and influence how we look, how tall we grow, and how we respond to training.
People Get Different Results
Generic approaches don’t work for most people because we are all different. As such, we respond differently to the same stimulus. One person might run a training program for three months and improve their bench press by 40 lbs; another might follow the same program and only improve his bench by 18 lbs; a third might even lose strength despite training hard.
The most notable reason for these differences is our genetic makeup. Everyone comes with unique characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, and predispositions. As such, no single approach can work equally well for everyone.
Other factors that influence progress include gender, age, lifestyle, stress levels, and diet. Younger people are more likely to make good progress simply because they are in their prime, can do more training, and have more energy.
How stressed you are also contributes to the equation. A person with little stress can do more training and recover better than someone under a lot of stress at work and home.
Similarly, how much emphasis you place on good sleep and nutrition will determine your outcome. Good sleep is crucial for recovery, protein synthesis, and fat oxidation. Paying attention to your calories and protein also impacts your ability to build muscle, get stronger, or achieve another goal.
What Does It All Mean For You?
First, you should stay away from generic approaches because most are likely not going to bring good results. Instead, put together a unique approach based on your goals, schedule, recoverability, injury history, and other relevant details. If you cannot do that yourself, consider working with a coach because they can provide a tailored experience and teach you how to become an independent trainee.
The same goes for your nutrition. Instead of following a cookie-cutter diet, familiarize yourself with your nutritional needs and consider tracking your calories for a while. Doing so can be challenging, but it leads to much better results.
Second, understand that results are difficult to predict and depend on many factors. Avoid people who make concrete and outlandish promises, trust the process and be consistent. Good fitness results often take longer than we would like to wait but doing so is necessary for reaching our goals.