Random Workouts Create Random Results
Rather than switching up your workout everyday or trying the latest Instagram workout posted by your favorite influencer, try sticking to a training program that focuses on improvement each week. Why? If you have a specific goal in mind, such as fat loss or muscle gain, you will need a specific training program to get you there. Doing a “workout” is just that, a workout. It won’t lead you to your specific goal (or it will at least take you a lot longer to get there). Your muscles will need to adapt to that regime by doing a similar (if not the same) workout each week until your program changes again (usually anywhere between 4-12 weeks depending on the individual).
Progressive overload is going to be your best friend when it comes to making progress with any goal in the gym. This involves adding 5-10% to the weight, volume or intensity each week. This helps you see the progress you are making on paper and avoids the body getting too used to what you have been doing. You cannot progress at something if you are constantly changing it.
Let’s say you are trying to get your first pull-up. Doing 3 sets of lat pulldowns 1x/week at the same weight week by week will not do much for your body to learn this movement. Even performing 3 sets 1x/week of assisted pull-ups won’t be enough to help your body learn and get stronger in this exercise. You will see much greater progress by performing a pull-up variation 2-3x/week as well as rowing variations, increasing resistance each week, if not each training session. This will help the body understand the exercise and you will gain strength instead of hitting a plateau.
By having a specific training program, if you reach a plateau or you feel you are not making progress, you can figure out why by looking at the data and exercises you have been doing. If you are completing random workouts, there is not a sure way to do this.
A program gives you structure and a path to reach your goal. This makes each individual session compliment each other to get you there. You want your program to focus on specificity, frequency, recovery, progressive overload, and individualisation.