How Do I Know If My Gym Program Will Work?

Programs are not rocket science.

If you search for ‘the best fat loss workout’ in Google you will be bombarded with millions of different programs (the same goes for ‘best muscle building workout’). The funny thing is that all of the different results will give you a different program – so how can they all be the best?

Put simply, they aren’t.

With a cliché, the best programme is the one you can stick to.

A program does not need to be complicated to work. When you train (doing anything requiring you to work) you cause a stimulus and the body responds to this by adapting to a higher state of ‘fitness’ so that next time you do train the body can perform more efficiently.

Here are the 5 basic principles every gym programme should include:

1) Consistency – number 1 is consistency. Although I understand a programme cannot ‘include’ consistency this will always be the largest factor to whether a program is successful or not. Being able to adhere to a program for 6+ months is not easy, but if the programme is enjoyable, time-efficient, simple and you are noticing results, it is much easier.

2) Overload – As stated earlier the body responds to training by adapting to the stimulus. If you go and do the same thing every time the body will stop adapting and your progress will stagnate. There needs to be in build progressions in the programme through increasing volume or intensity so the body is always being forced to adapt.

3) Recovery – Recovery is just as important as the training itself. Sleep and nutrition will play a major role in a programme’s successfulness. Again we come across something a program cannot ‘include’, proving how simple a gym programme needs to be.

4) Variation – The more your body does something the easier it gets (overload principle). Therefore you must include variation in a programme to continuously push your body. This point is within the constraints of specificity. All variation must still be specific towards the ultimate goal of the programme.

5) Individualisation – And finally the programme must suit you. Everyone is different and we all have different body shapes, injuries, limits, goals, limb lengths, likes etc. A programme based on you will always be better than a programme from the internet designed for someone else.


In one sentence – a gym programme must be enjoyable, progressive, recoverable, goal-orientated and individualised. Check those boxes and you will be on track.

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