I’ve recently realized that the people I work with break down into two basic categories. The first group doesn’t question what I ask them to do. They trust that whatever program they are on is the best one for them and they work as hard as they can on it.

The truth is that there is no “perfect” program. No matter what you are doing today there is something missing from it which is why you have to systematically change your workouts.

The second group is always wondering if there is something missing from their program. They tend to wonder if there is enough core training, or if they need to be doing a different exercise for their lower body or any one of a dozen other “concerns”.

While they work hard you can tell that there is always a question in the back of their mind about what they might be missing.

In the facility these are the people who are always telling me about a new article they read in a magazine or an exercise they saw on the internet. They want to know if we can incorporate it into their program and sometimes I oblige – until they are repeating the process every few weeks.

It seems like no matter what we are doing with their program they are busy worrying about what is missing.

Online these are the people who order one of my program and then send me an email asking how they can “incorporate” other workouts into it. They send me a 7 day workout plan they created using a little bit of a few programs, creating a Frankenstein’s monster of a training program.

Or they will send me an email asking how they can incorporate every exercise I post on my blog into their current workout. Again, it seems like the focus is on trying to cover every base possible instead of simply working hard on a few key things.

This is a tricky subject because if you are not seeing good results from your current program you should think about what is missing and while I certainly encourage people to educate themselves about training so they can make smarter decisions you have to be careful about learning just enough to be dangerous.

The truth is that there is no “perfect” program. No matter what you are doing today there is something missing from it which is why you have to systematically change your workouts.

The trick is to not worry about what you might be missing and instead just give your all to what you are doing. That is actually one of the advantages of not trying to put your own program together – you can simply turn off your brain and do what the program says.

Busting ass on a few simple things will always produce better results than wondering what you are missing and trying to incorporate everything you read on the internet into your program.

Now, before I end this post I have to admit that I tend to fall into the second category. It is very easy to follow a workout a few times and then start to think about all the things you aren’t doing.

However, you have to be aware of how this mindset can sabotage you and discipline yourself if you ever want to achieve long term success.

So, which category do you fall into? Post a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this important subject.

And if you liked this article please click one of the Like or Share buttons below to help spread the word.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

4 thoughts on “Why you should stop worrying about what is missing from your program.

  1. Greg Smith says:

    Hi,
    I can understand constantly evaluating your training to validate that it is doing what you need for it to do. I find myself reviewing my riding to determine where I need to improve on both skills, strength, and mobility. I’ve done several of the training programs here including the UMWP and the Atomic Strength Training. I have found the training routines for the RFAL program good for maintaining strength. I still use several routines in the UMWP and Atomic Strength Training programs to build strength in specific need areas. Some of the mobility exercises in the RFAL routines, Frog Stretch and Lizard Pose, are beyond the flexibility limits of this old body so I revert back to the decompression/mobility routines of the UMWP which are within my capabilities but yet push me a little bit.

    • bikejames says:

      That’s a good way to approach it – using what works for you and not forcing yourself to do something that isn’t as effective for you. It is hard to design programs that work for everyone so having that ability to discern for yourself what is going to work for you is important.

  2. Jussi says:

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks Greg for sharing your training routines – it’s interesting to hear, how others are using and mixing different training programs.
    Definitely category 2 for me 😉 As probably for the most of us here, mountain biking for me is a hobby, where part of the fun happens sitting comfortably in my couch, sipping coffee, speccing bikes and parts and – yes – looking for new training methods. Getting better and faster for sure is part of the fun, but not “mandatory”.
    That said, I do understand the importance of consistency and like to program my training as well. 2019-2020 was my first off-season with the UMWP, which I managed to follow until about phase 4. Then the pandemic directed me away from the gym and I started doing the Atomic Strength program at home instead – which wasn’t bad, but the same time my training got somewhat less consistent.
    My plan is to go for the full UMWP this off-season. For a couple of months now my strength training has been more focused on regaining some lost muscle, but in 1-2 weeks I’ll start with Phase 1 again.

    • bikejames says:

      While you may have not been as consistent, good job with keeping your workouts going when you had to take time off from the gym. Any thread of consistency can help a lot in the long run and you’ll find that you’ll get more out of the UMWP this time around. Let me know if you have any questions I can help with as you get going.

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