Here is the exact dialogue I had with one of my athletes two weeks ago:
Athlete: "Coach, I accidentally used the wrong weight on my first set of deadlifts. Does that make me a bad guy because I did not follow your program"
Me: "No. You are not a bad guy. But what you did was like throwing paint on the Mona Lisa."
Athlete: "Are you saying your program is like a work of art?"
Am I really so cocky that I think my programs are a work of art?
What my athletes get is a new program every fourth week they walk into the gym.
What they don't see is the hours and hours I spent developing it.
They don't understand that I start with the end in mind.
They don't know that every rep of every set is geared toward getting them ready for their upcoming season.
They don't know the questions I continually ask myself....
- Is this weight heavy enough to challenge the athlete, but light enough not to burn them out?
- Is the athlete skilled enough to perform this lift?
- Is there enough balance in all of our lifts? Do we have 2x more push than we have pull? Do we include too much quads and not enough glutes?
- Is the volume on this set going to effect the load we can move on the next set?
These are the things that literally keep me awake at night when its time to develop a new program.
My wife normally tells me to "get over myself".
But the truth is, I know how much these things matter.
I know how much it means to your overall progress when you miss a rep, do too many reps, or progress too much too fast.
So yes, I do believe that writing an effective program is an art.
The next time you decide to bump up your weight or change the order of the exercises on your program, understand that you are "throwing paint on the Mona Lisa."