We have all heard the dogma of the modern bodybuilder, "Listen to your body." Here are a few tricks that can help those who are illiterate in the language of the body. A program is like medicine for your muscles.
You can't give a person any old program, or with the right program but the wrong dosage, the desired effects are hard to come by. I have read countless articles telling me to "listen to my body," and countless more telling me to do three sets of ten reps of push-downs. So what do I do?
Read and Research
Dissect Bodybuilding.com until you have read all the quality that it has to offer. Then go buy some bodybuilding magazines to see what the latest in optimizing your workout is. Ask the attendants at your local gym what they suggest, but essentially you won't be able to decide what is good for you until you put it into practice in the gym.
So once you have found all the little tidbits that you like and have written them down, organize them into a logical sequence (like the method I described in 'The Dynamics of a Good Workout') and then put it into action. Find what burns your muscles and what pumps them up and make a note of it. Once you have all your data, sit down and write up what you would like to do.
As a basis for your experiments grab some programs from articles on Bodybuilding.com. Try out the suggested sets and reps or modify them as you go to really give your muscles a pump. The pump is how you know what you are doing is what your body wants. That is extremely important part of working out. In fact, it is so important that I am going to repeat it:
"If it gives you a pump, it goes on the program. This is your first lesson in the linguistics of your body. Pump roughly translates to "Holy crap I'm growing."
In experimenting with what gives you a pump, make sure you do not follow suggested programs to the letter. When one of us writers puts up a program, it is only what has worked for us, and only a complete idiot would assume that we are trying to force what has worked for us onto those who are trying to experiment and establish a program for themselves.
A fingerprint, and when we suggest a program, we are just showing you what worked for us. It is up to you to listen to your body and discuss the future of your size.
Now get back to work!