Do you have one? Do you have specific ideas that you adhere to while training or programming? Many of us train blindly, even if we have the most immaculate program mapped out. From one cycle to the next, we may focus on certain areas of the program while ignoring others. It would benefit every one of us to follow a specific training methodology.
Methodologies include many areas related to training but are not limited to ideas that only focus on training. They may also include thoughts on recovery and nutrition as well. My understanding on what makes a good methodology is that everything it may include is based on solid findings.
You may follow specific ‘rules,’ but each component must be backed up by evidence. This evidence could be from scientific studies you have read/performed or through trial and error in your own training. If they aren’t based on evidence, there isn’t any point in using that idea or method.
You can play around with variables to program one hell of a cycle. Many methods come to mind when I think of how to program a training cycle. These include high reps, lower intensity; low reps, higher intensity; ascending waves; descending waves; accommodating resistance (chains or bands); post-activation potentiation (follow a heavier movement with a lighter, similar movement); and many, many more.
You can use many different methods of training, but you should be consistent with your beliefs in how training and programming should be handled and what works well together. There shouldn’t be a huge discrepancy in methods from one cycle to the next. Otherwise, certain performance characteristics may be lost. For example, someone might perform extremely high repetitions using only unilateral movements on unstable surfaces for one cycle. Then, after completing that cycle, he might perform heavy singles with the ‘big three’ movements (squat, bench, and deadlift).
My problem with an example like this is simple—why would you follow an unstable, lighter cycle with an extremely heavy cycle? What’s the reason? What are you trying to accomplish? You might believe that using unstable surfaces has proven implications for increasing joint stability. Is that stability supposed to be transferred to the ‘big three?’ What strength have you built to help with this new, heavier cycle? What does the research say? Is it beneficial to do an entire cycle on unstable surfaces, or would it be better to just do a few exercises within a cycle using this method? Only you can be the judge of your training and how you program your cycles. Just be smart about it.
Sorry for the rant, but I really believe that everything within a program should be backed up by evidence in some way or another. I’m sure Mariusz Pudzianowski, Andy Bolton, and Ilya Ilin followed through with their methods and stuck to their beliefs without straying off course to delve into the new ‘fad workout.’ Be attentive to everything you do and results will surely follow.