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Programme Creep

You've probably done it before, and might even be aware of it - but do you actually pay head to it?

'Programme Creep.'

So what is 'Programme Creep?'

Well, you'll probably have found yourself starting out with great intentions with your training;

  1. You have a goal (probably a SMART goal).

  2. You sit down with someone and help design a training plan to get you to that goal.

  3. You begin the programme following it obsessively, safe in the knowledge that if you follow it to the letter then you will reach your goal.

But then things start to creep in.

You start adding extra sets, thinking that just one more set with get you that hypertrophy that you're coveting - if 4 sets are good, surely 5 is better, right?

Then what about adding a drop set in there after?

Slowly, these things creep into the programme until it becomes too crowded. Your sessions take much longer than they should and you don't recover like you were because you are taking your body to it's limit every single session - and taking each exercise to its limit too!

Any progress that you were seeing stalls, you feel burnt out and frustrated that the programme isn't working.

So you stop the programme.

Sit down.

And start the planning process again.

This is an all-to-familiar process with many athletes.

So what's the message?


Give it a chance! It's written for a reason, using the knowledge of the coach/coaches writing and discussing it, which in turn is after years of education and experience. Adding things in, whilst done with the best intentions, will likely go against many mechanisms of the programme. You wouldn't get pills from a Doctor, get told to take 2 a day and take 4 because you think that's better. This is no different - more isn't necessarily better, and can be harmful.


Enjoy your training,


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