Prologue: I remember years ago when I first started working out and posting here I went out and put together a program all on my own. I thought it through very thoroughly and was very proud of myself when I'd finished. I made a new thread about it and asked for people to critique it in the title. I expected for the most part people would approve of it and might offer tiny suggestions to improve on it.
What I got was people telling me it was awful and I needed to scrap it completely and pick up a pre-made program which was created by someone who was an expert in the weightlifting/strength training or bodybuilding field.
I was upset and annoyed at the time, however it was sound advice. They were right. My program sucked, I did not know what I was doing and if I'd followed it I wouldn't have made any significant long-term gains.
Ask yourself this: Do you know more than Mark Rippetoe, Bill Starr or anyone who has studied strength and hypertrophy training for years and has had countless more years of empirical evidence to refine their knowledge on how to make progress in the gym? (The answer is, of course, "no").
Then why would you use some program you've made over one of theirs?
Why your program is terrible:
1) You've probably designed your program with way too many exercises and way too much volume for a beginner.
- Your program should consist primarily of the following exercises: the squat, the bench press, the deadlift, heavy rows and plenty of core work.
- You do not need endless sets of isolation work right now. You need to focus on compound movements and work on getting a solid base/frame.
- Right now you need to focus on correct form. Master squatting, benching and deadlifting. It's not easy. Odds are you're doing a terrible job on at least two of those exercises. Get a trainer, preferably one who looks like they lift and who has a background in powerlifting, and have them coach you on these essential lifts.
2) You've probably designed your program with way too much emphasis on mirror muscles and not enough on others.
- A good program will have at least as much focus, if not considerably more, on one's back than on one's pecs. Often you see people making programs which have several different benching variations (incline, decline, dumbells, etc), dumbell flies, cable crosses, etc... and then when it's time for back day they do some lat pulldowns and maybe some other fairly useless exercise. This can lead to muscle imbalances which later down the road will mess you and your rotator cuff up. You don't want that. Back in the day when lifters spend tons of time on their back doing rows, pullups, face pulls, deadlifts and other exercises and had strong backs -- nobody had RC problems.
- You're probably neglecting your legs, but this isn't always the case with newbies making programs.
3) You've probably designed your program and left out tons of crucial information.
- What are your goals? Strength? Hypertrophy? General fitness? What is your program supposed to do?
- What is your level of fitness? While it's usually "beginner", often times people don't even bother to say. An advanced lifter will have a drastically different routine than a beginner. Often times beginners don't realize this and they try to emulate a program designed for someone who has been lifting for years. Small muscles, like yours, don't need nearly as much stimulation to shock them into growth. If you overdo it, you'll just burn yourself out and get nowhere.
- Sometimes you see truly awful programs which just toss out a number of exercises and don't bother to elaborate and then they expect someone to critique it. Other times you get a little more. I've yet to see someone incorporate rest times or tempo into their home-made programs, despite it being important stuff. The answer is because you probably don't understand it, which is precisely why you shouldn't be making your own program to begin with.
4) Lastly, we see ****ty programs like yours every day. Often multiple. Frankly, it's tiresome. Please, read the stickies and pick a program which will work from there. There is a saying that "Anything will work... for about 6 weeks", which is probably true. You might see minor progress with whatever terrible program you've made but in time you will stall out and you will not make much, if any, progress. Think long-term, drop your ego and realize there are people out there who dedicate their lives to this and they know more than you. Find a program which suits your level of fitness and your goals. Use it.
5) Here are some excellent programs which I hope you consider looking into:
- Rippetoes aka Starting Strength: I can personally attest to this program being superb. It's designed for any novice or beginner lifter but also for more experienced lifters who might not be used to a program consisting of heavy, compound movements. This will get you strong and if your diet is in order you will get bigger.
- Bill Starr 5x5 aka Madcow 5x5: I love this one. It's for an intermediate lifter and the focus of this program is to get you strong as quickly as possible. And it works.
- HST (Hypertrophy/Strength Training): I haven't personally lifted in this style but plenty of people swear by it. This should work well for someone looking for gains in both strength and hypertrophy (ie. getting both strong and bigger muscles).
- German Volume Training: I've ran this and even having lifted for years before I ran it I was sore as a dog after pretty much every workout. DOMS doesn't necessarily mean it's working, but this is a pretty rough ride. GVT is designed to primarily make you bigger (hypertrophy).
- There are PLENTY of other programs. Here is a guide here, one of the stickies you SHOULD have already read...
- You should also venture out into the other sections, the Nutrition and Exercise ones especially (not so much the misc, you're better off not going there). I can promise you that you're going to learn a lot and help your progress if you do.