I remember one of my first powerlifting cycles I tried right off Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 book. The program was clearly labeled “Big But Boring.” Why? Just three exercises and you keep doing them for 12 weeks. And for all the right reasons, the program came with a caveat — don’t be fooled by it’s simplicity.
And Jim was right. It got me swole to a great extent but then I got bored and switched to another program. In retrospect, had I stuck to the program and run it at least a few times I would have learned so much about programming and how my body responds to volume and intensity. But I was naive. Didn’t know any better.
My current program consists of just four main lifts: Squat, Bench, Deadlifts and Press. And three accessory exercises: Front Squats, Zercher Squats and Close-grip Press. That’s it! Training 5 days a week with just these exercises is as boring as Jim’s original program. Probably more since almost everyone in the gym asks me why on earth don’t I ever do a bicep curl! 😉
The reason is quite simple — to become an excellent lifter you have to focus on the core movement than the ones that are, well, decorative exercises. The Russians say it the best, “to press more, you need to press more.”
To master a lift or any skill in life you need to keep doing it. Irrespective of how boring it gets because once you begin to see the light behind the boredom you would have found the path towards mastery. All you need is pig-headed discipline to see yourself through the boredom and keep yourself motivated.