Have Faith in the Process (AKA Chris is down with OPP)

Ed Coan’s Deadlift Program                                                                                                               Dan John/Pavel Easy Strength Program                                                                                           Wendler’s 5-3-1                                                                                                                                Starting Strength Basic Barbell                                                                                                         Jones SFG/RKC Prep                                                                                                                         Gironda 8×8                                                                                                                                       Staley Escalating Density Training                                                                                                   Pavel’s SImple and Sinister…

These are all other peoples programs (OPP) and designed for specific adaptations and skill acquisitions. I am entering my fourth week of Brett Jones SFG/RKC prep and have logged every practice session completed. I have noted performance gains in several techniques and insights greater than during my 30 day Billy Madison program. Many people are keen to try OPP’s, but often fail in one critical area;  They fail to follow the rules.  

Rule 1: Plan the Practice.   Rule 2: Practice the Plan.                                                                   Rule 1 was easy, someone else did the work for you.                                                                     Rule 2 is up to you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you start making drastic changes then it is no longer the original OPP.  Have faith in the process and that the author knew what they were doing before they put the program out. This is the ideal way. After you have ran the program with honest effort you can rerun it to your customized needs.

Fact: Adherence to any program is key.                                                                                       Fact: Plans sometimes don’t survive contact with the enemy.

Suppose the program calls for a weight/rep scheme that you cannot complete.  Typically you can lower the weight and build yourself to the stated standard.  Example: The program calls for 5 bench presses equal to body weight, yet you cannot perform a half-body weight bench press, you’ll simply be starting from a lower weight.

You can adjustment for the stated reps and work your way up to the programs requirement, or you can re-evaluate the program itself, and find a program that you can perform. It is entirely possible you picked a program beyond your level of skill, strength or capacity to recover from.

I recently tested myself using Pavel’s Simple program as a baseline using a 24kg/53lb kettlebell.  I  passed both single hand swing and turkish get up time requirements with time to spare and my next test will either be another 24kg run, or possibly moving up to 28kg/62lb.

What if the program calls for exercises you cannot perform?  Option 1 is not to engage the program at this time, learn the techniques well and then re-consider the program.  Option 2 requires a degree of diverting from the OPP, all techniques belong to a genus, so there are always regressions something you can achieve among the options.


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