Ever since I started lifting I’ve always been after the optimal or ideal conditions for whatever I was trying to accomplish. When I decided I wanted to be a trainer I started putting together situations in my head and thinking about when the optimal time for me to start would be. I also started thinking about clients situations and what I would suggest or do under different circumstances. When was I still studying and just giving a little advice here and there on the forums I always took a kind of hard-line approach to my advice because in my mind there was only 1 or 2 options and that each and every person out there should strive for those options. Well guess what…
Optimal is a RELATIVE term
The optimal diet strategy for one person won’t work for the next.
The optimal lifting program for one person won’t work for the next either.
A new mom looking to lose weight doesn’t need to worry about weighing all her food on top of training 6 days each week. She needs to focus on eating only balanced, high quality meals, getting the best possible sleep she can, and getting into a regular habit of training.
For the aspiring strength athlete on a budget you don’t need to load them with a supplement and training regimen that would confuse a rocket scientist. They need some basics to ensure recovery and progress in the gym.
While barbell squats may be king as far as building an athlete, it’s not going to happen if they have shoulder problems that limit them. They may need to try some heavy sled dragging in place of squats for awhile.
Find what is optimal for your situation and run with it. Optimal is not a plan that you struggle to carry out every day and gets you minimal results. Optimal is a program that can be used and adjusted as needed that gets you results without a ton of trouble. I’m not saying that it should be easy. Nothing worth having was ever gotten easy. But you shouldn’t feel like crap while you are doing it either. Figure out at what level you can maintain your plan and still get results, then move on from there.