Martin Berkhan wrote a great article called “Fuckarounditis” that everyone should read. It’s full of so many hard truths that everyone needs to hear. Admitting to yourself that that you have it is the first step to getting over it.
Now back to the main topic, programming. For beginners, there are two very similar programs for barbell training: Starting Strength and Strong Lifts 5×5. They are simple, easy to follow, and most importantly, effective. They’re both based around the “big 4” lifts and aim to take new lifters from the very beginning to a point where I would consider a person strong. I can’t stress enough how simple these programs are, and I think that’s where people get confused.
I see in places like /r/fitness and /r/weightroom people asking “I’ve been on StrongLifts for 2 months, now what?” My answer is always the same “What is your goal and did you reach it yet?” The thing about these programs are they’re linear, which is perfect for new lifters and works well with the phenomenon known as “newb gains”, the ability for a novice to increase their strength at a faster rate. But here is the rub, at about 2 month into Strong Lifts, you should only be lifting about 145lbs (quick math) if you followed the program correctly. I would assume most people do not have a goal of squatting 145lbs.
So back to my point. If your goal is to squat in the mid 2s, keep going with the program until you’re constantly failing. These programs won’t work forever, but the large majority of people looking for help are < 6 months on it, which is clear to me they have Fuckarounditis