Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
October 7, 2022

What Is Your Training Operating System?
By Charles Staley

What Is Your Training Operating System?

I'd like to challenge you to explore your personal "system" of training, and more specifically, I'd like you to take an assessment of your personal "Values" as pertains to training. In other words, what's your "Training O.S.?"

Before doing that however, it's important to realize that you do already have an operating system. All of us have a set of habits, paradigms, proclivities, and/or beliefs that govern our decision-making under the bar. For example, I've written volumes about a belief that many people hold, which is that pain equals gain: the more something hurts, the better it must be.

If you happen to hold this point of view, you're likely do manage your workouts differently than someone who holds a contrasting belief (for example, that "performance equals gain"). This sequence of events can be visually summated in the following diagram:

Paradigms ' Decisions ' Consequences/Results

Needless to say, if you operate from accurate, productive paradigms, you'll make good decisions that will lead to good results. If you operate from incorrect assumptions, you'll make faulty decisions and suffer unwanted consequences. Let's examine a few common belief patterns so that you'll have a concrete understanding of this sequence of events:


"John" is (unconsciously) overly enamored by novelty. He's always looking for the newest, coolest training system, diet, or training equipment.

What Is Your Training Operating System?


Every time John becomes aware of a new system, diet, or tool, he immediately discontinues what he was previously doing in favor of the new discovery.


John never makes any progress because he never does anything long enough for it to work. Interestingly enough, he always has a convenient excuse- his current methods are behind the times!


"Jenna" believes she is weak and needs to be a tougher person, mentally and physically


Every time Jenna encounters pain during a workout, she chalks it up to personal weakness and continues despite the pain.


Jenna is nearly always injured, which reinforces her paradigm. She's caught in a vicious cycle, and she's completely unaware of it.


What Is Your Training Operating System? "Joe" is fascinated by, believes in, and has extensively studied periodization.


Joe plans his workouts months in advance. Every exercise, set, rep, and weight is pre-planned.


When Joe inevitably encounters a workout that he isn't able to complete "by the book," he gets frustrated and immediately starts writing a new macrocycle, convinced me made an error on his last plan. Like John and Jenna, his faulty paradigm is self-replicating.

Like John, Jenna, and Joe, we all have productive paradigms and faulty ones. How then, can we reinforce the former and eradicate the latter? Simply by increasing our own self-awareness. I'd love your input on this discussion, so if you'd like to share your own paradigms- good or bad, current or former, please click the discussion link below. I'm certain you'll find the exercise to be enlightening and transformational.

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