5 Common Training / Program Design Mistakes of Athletes & Coaches



In my recent discussion on training mistakes and program design with Josh Bryant we spoke honestly and openly about our own mistakes and what we see in others that are also commonplace.

If you're reading this article it means you want to learn and that is KEY.

That obviously brings me to Mistake # 1:

  • You can NEVER STOP learning. You must learn by doing the work yourself be it in training and / or coaching. Learn through books, podcasts, seminars and more.

If you are out there saying "I'm good enough" or "we already do that" then you are no longer a TRUE coach or athlete. The true coaches / athletes are always hunting for more knowledge to gain what is called the "slight edge".

Mistake # 2:

- Switching workouts too often and thinking you are "training Westside" or "Sheiko" or whatever method you are jumping to and from at the moment.

Program jumping makes it very difficult to track your lifts, especially the big lifts which you DO want to keep track of. If you change all the time and pull the "constantly varied" card then it might satisfy your eccentric mindset but there IS a unique discipline in doing what we MUST do to  excel in sports vs what we WANT to do.

The ultimate goal is to be at the top of the podium so make sure your gym training has a transfer of sport. Record your lifts and see how they help (or not) your sports performance / athletic performance.

I remember learning LONG ago the guys who bench or squat the most are NOT always my most successful athletes and certain lifts have a better carry over for certain sports.

At both of my Underground Strength Gym locations, we use a software that tracks our lifts so we can see the progress they are making. I can also track their nutrition, sleep and lifestyle choices to pin point where improvement can and should be made.

Of course, the athletes who are not consistent or those who bail out when sports season begins, well, they don't make much progress.

They improve, then detrain during the season. It's the up and down cycle of get better and get weaker and start all over again.

Mistake # 3:

You can't make performance gains unless you're dedicated.

This sounds like an elementary piece of advice but in today's era of "I want results yesterday" and chasing every fad, people are confused regarding what it REALLY takes.

This is a long term process so be in it for the long haul. Year round training is vital.

BUT.... Only the most dedicated and those who HATE losing will train all year. Those who are satisfied with good enough will not be it in for the long haul.

Mistake # 4:

Lack of technique mastery and lack of commitment to excellence in technique.

The goal of exercise technique should be to keep technique a priority. If technique breaks down the set is over for athletes. For powerlifters, yes, they must learn the "art of the grind reps" and even athletes CAN do it safely and technique is the way to do it safely.

This means that proper technique puts you in the strongest AND safest positions.

Our most successful athletes understand and take positioning seriously.

They take it seriously because myself and my coaches take technique seriously. It trickles down from the top. Shitty Coaches rarely ever make Great athletes. Those great athletes coming from shitty coaches are the outliers.

Great coaches live for the relentless pursuit of excellence.

  • Don't half rep your squats.
  • Don't bounce the bar off your chest when benching.
  • Don't bounce the bar when deadlifting.
  • Don't do a jumping jack / back bend on power cleans.

I tell my athletes that if they did a half squat, that squat doesn't count. Simple.

Mistake # 5:

The things you do OUT of the gym are BIG supporters OR impeding factors of your training results.

Your nutrition and sleep are BIG tickets for your success or lack of success in the gym. Those 2 can be some of the most anabolic OR catabolic factors in your overall training scheme.

The past 3 weeks for me were personally brutal. Emotionally draining and hence it physically crushed me.

I dialed in my sleep and eating and the past few days and now my training is on a new level. My body is back on track and I was getting to bed between 9 and 10 PM. Sleeping 8-9 hrs a night.

No iPhone in the room and sleeping uninterrupted.

I see athletes being active on social media at 1 and even 3 AM in the morning. No wonder they can't make gains. Not everybody wants it. MANY say they want, far and few between actually do ALL the work to get to the top.

It ALL counts.

Live The Code 365


The Underground Strength Academy

Est. 2005

5 Responses

  1. Great blog Zach 👍🏼 Your commitment to training truths is inspiring.

  2. I really want to thank you for helping Keith Coomes. With the trading training program and support for Elijah Humphrey. I’m his dad. Even though he he decided not to continue with the training and isn’t going to play football this year. I just wanted to thank you personally. I also wanted to say that I appreciate your enthusiasm and passion for for helping young people achieve their goals. God bless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

448 | Summer STRONG: 7 Lessons Learned

STRONG Life Podcast ep 448  Summer STRONG Recap | 7 Lessons Learned  Brought to you by https://ZachEven-Esh.com  The http://UndergroundStrengthCert.com Gladiator STRONG – 7 Days FREE Intro HERE Here

Read More
"Zach Even - Esh is the Charles Atlas of Powerlifting / Weightlifting / Athletic Training. He is a walking inspiration. A kick in the ass for all of us."
- Steven Pressfield, World Renown Author
War of Art & Turning Pro

Get Zach’s Best Bodyweight & Strength Training Programs for FREE!

Become an Underground Strength Insider

I HATE spam as much as you