Training for gain. But I’m not gaining.

There are workout programs out there for everyone under the sun these days. Everything from a program just to get you moving more to the all intense workouts of getting ready for Tough Man competitions. But, because of your body makeup and type, you may not always get the results you were intending to find.

I vary my workout lengths all year long. Sometimes it will be as long as 12 weeks in a program before I change it, sometimes it’s only five weeks. When I did the diminishing set program, I slated it to be only a six week program. Just enough to give my body the change up it needed between programs, do something different and build a little strength at the same time. Why did it work? Because when my body was auto programmed to say “Okay, so we do 15 of these each set”, my brain laughed at it and said “No sucker, you’ve gotta do 70 of these in four sets or less”. It rewired my body to get it ready for the next program.

The timing of it worked out perfectly. I wrapped that program just in time to start the “Bigger, faster, better me” program as I’ve dubbed it for Summer softball. I’ve been playing co-ed adult league softball for a few years now (because I actually SOMETIMES have a little spare time on my hands now) and that first year, I felt sluggish. So the next year, I started actually training for the season – and found it completely worth it. Usually come the middle of March, I start living in a 5×5 world. It had proven itself to me in many ways by giving me the strenth and power I need to drive that ball into the outfield. And my cardio routine kicks up a few notches too, so I can run the bases fast than the ball can get back to the diamond.

Did I mention that my team won last year?

Anyway, back to working out. I don’t know how many times I’ve read about a program that would give me gains, or NOT give me any gain. Almost each time I ventured into one of these programs, or set up my own on the basis of what it would accomplish, I got the opposite result. I might get gains when I shouldn’t. Or I’d get bigger when I was trying to NOT do any gaining. It was frustrating early on.

It wasn’t that I was doing the program wrong, it’s just the way my body is built. I discovered pretty quick 11 years ago that I had absolutely no issue building muscle. At all. Without the help of a clean eating lifestyle. I guess in that sense, I’m one of the lucky ones. And the instances when I was trying to build/gain, and wasn’t? My body was finding that program a little too similar to what it was doing before, so I just needed to change it up MORE to see the results I was looking to find. Our bodies really can be quite obnoxious sometimes.

Rounding that longwinded bend here… When looking into a program, you have to take your body into account. It will either make or break you before you even put your workout clothes on. You may not be able to pull off a five or six week program and see any results at all. Your body may be slower at producing those results so you might need to run the full 12 weeks. OR, you might not.

Don’t get frustated because “it’s not working”, adapt to it. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box a little bit to lengthen the program or shorten it. Know what works for you. It’s the only way that you can not just give yourself the chance at success, but be happier about the end result as well.

Kind of goes with the saying: If it’s broke  — fix it. Otherwise, don’t bitch about it.

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Mother. Photographer. Writer. Founder of Fit Fridays for Mental Health. Former powerlifter turned weightlifter. Coach & Nutritionist. Spondy/PCOS/Endo. Bully breed advocate.

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