Literally every single day I saw gym members performing workouts to emulate that of some bodybuilding and fitness stars or simply take workouts their favorites athletes posted on Instagram. Better yet, members came in excited about some ‘deeply discounted’ or free exercise plans and nutrition programs they just discovered, thinking this was the answer to their fitness prayers. What they didn’t realize is that these are all cookie-cutter exercise programs often designed to take advantage of your money – in other words, deeply discount the price or offer the program for free with some hidden add-on or upgrade down the road.
Cookie cutters might have some value and they might work for some people but at the end of the day, they’re nothing but a Ponzi scheme. I tread water lightly when I say cookie-cutter programs work for some – they work for very, very few.
And they probably won’t work for you so, to be honest, I wouldn’t even bother.
Let’s take a dive into cookie-cutter programs and why they’re so destructive.
The Trainers/Fitness Stars Have Never Met You
Therefore, they have zero idea what your primary goals are. They don’t know if you have movement deficiencies. They don’t know if you’re at the level to perform certain exercises. They don’t know if you have the right amount of time to implement their plan.
In other words, someone on Instagram has never met you nor your tendencies, so why do they think their program is the best not only for you but for perhaps hundreds of thousands of users?
It would be like me trying to sell a mass building program to a hardgainer – it won’t work. Or an extreme endomorph. As an ecto-mesomorph, my own programs would only work for one group of people. And even in that one group, the ecto-meso community, they probably won’t work for those who wish to gain a bodybuilder type of physique; my workouts are too high in volume and are designed to invoke as much time under tension as possible within a 40-60 minute window.
So for those who only have a half-hour in the day to workout?
Unless I’m personally training them and individualizing their workout, they’re out of luck if they’re trying workouts that I posted on Instagram.
So many factors go into designing individualized safe and effective programs that those who claim their cookie-cutter workouts are one-size, fits all are literally trying to take advantage of potential customers. They don’t care about you; they care about their bank account.
They Don’t Care
Again, these people don’t give a damn about you, your goals, or your results. Now, if you’re with an online trainer, it’s different. I’ve done online training in separate fields, namely writing and writing marketing, where the program designer only took in a limited number of students at a time; just as an online trainer can really only take in a limited number of clients.
So if this person is continually selling their program, chances are they’re not taking in a limited number. Even if they claim to be, it’s likely a sales tactic to entice buyers; not a true, limited time offer.
What’s even more disgusting is that these programs typically come with their nutrition plan. Why am I going to pay, even at a deep discount, for someone else’s workout and nutrition plan that may or may not work for me?
Granted, if you workout and eat right, you will see results. But if you workout and eat right with a program individually tailored to you, you will see permanent results.
The choice is yours.
Again, I’m not paying a deep discount for someone else’s exercise and nutrition program. For those who do and see results, at least two in every three will rebound right back to where they once were, if not more. The program ultimately isn’t for them.
Again, why bother.
Cookie Cutters Usually Never Change
I’ve seen programs that are released with simple ‘updates,’ but usually, the typical bodybuilding program will consist of between five and seven workouts per muscle group. So after I cycle through each workout, I guess I’ll go through them again, again, and again, until my body knows what’s coming.
Because most trainees have not the slightest clue about switching up variables such as rep count, rep speed, hand placement, body position, and other factors. Usually, they’ll manipulate resistance and that’s about it.
If one knew how to manipulate variables, then they might survive with cookie cutters. But then again, that’s usually a far more advanced level trainee.
Again, why are we even going to consider if we’re a novice or even an intermediate?
It makes zero sense.
I’m not saying I haven’t done these kinds of workouts or followed such programs, because I have and yes, some workouts were sensational. But at the same time, I was also a certified trainer with a strong background in nutrition while going to school for a Wellness and Fitness Degree.
In other words, I wasn’t exactly a novice.
These People Want to Sell Supplements
Oh my goodness, some websites are NOTORIOUS for this.
How many times have you opened a magazine in the old days and saw a supplement ad featuring Bodybuilder X for Company X. While hyping up a supplement and claiming to have gone from an off-season to a contest look within twelve weeks using one or two measly supplements, they also added in their ‘shredding’ workout program or something similar.
Did I fall for the ads?
In my novice days I did, especially when I graduated from high school and “earned” money from my graduation parties. A lot of wasted money I could’ve used for other investments.
I wasn’t exactly the brightest back in 2009 and 2010.
But yeah, you will see this. Usually, it’s in a layered package.
Exercise Program: one-time $45 payment.
Add in the Nutrition Program: one-time $75 dollar payment.
Add the Special Supplement Stack: one-time $150 payment and $120 per month if on auto-ship.
Unless you’re buying only the exercise program, you may as well opt for one on one or small group personal training.
Especially if you went all-inclusive because back in Weirton, you were actually saving money.
If you really want to change the best thing to do is to work with a real fitness professional either one on one or in a small group/team atmosphere. You can do this live and in person or you can find an online personal trainer who suits your niche.
Instead of trying to save a few bucks by purchasing a questionable cookie cutter, go the tried and true route with an educated personal trainer and watch your results skyrocket.
Because trainers will tell you after discovering your goals and assessing your current fitness level the best program for you and you only. If they’re good, you will be the ONLY one on this specific program because you’re the only client on their roster for such a program. Clients B and C will get their own programs. When Client D joins, that’s another program.
So, do yourself a favor for your short and long-term health and seek out true, honest personal trainers who know who you are and care about you and your goals. Watch the magic happen day after day, month after month, and finally, year after year.
Because when a trainer educates you on how to truly individualize your workouts and nutrition program, you become the expert – and I’ve had a few clients become trainers, with an exceptional client going as far as to open her own fitness studio.
That’s pretty damn impressive.