How to Make Better Progress In Your Training
Written by: Coach Slater
Everybody wants to make progress. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to improve at something or another. Whether you want bigger lifts, bigger muscles, less body-fat, tighter gym pants, or to not get tired from walking the stairs at work, progress is what keeps us training day-in and day-out. But, what if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere? Here are a few simple things that you can do to be sure your training is being spent wisely.
1. Eat More
We’ve had great success adding carbs to someone’s diet and then watching their lifts improve. We’ve also had great success adding more protein to someone’s diet (so they can’t eat as much crap as they were eating before), and then watching them lose a ton of body fat. Food is not your enemy, stagnation is. If you’re trying to add muscle, steak and broccoli alone isn’t going to do it. For the love of gainz, eat a sweet potato. Lots of them. If you’re trying to lean out, you’re not going to get there eating salads with a “hint” of chicken but a lot of salad dressing, or your “healthy” cereal bar which is loaded with as much sugar as a donut. Add more animal protein, which will magically make you feel fuller, longer. Now, by eating more at meals, you’re also grazing less throughout the day. Boom, lean out.
2. Stop Looking for the Perfect Fit and Just Be Consistent
We’ve lost members thru the years who have program-hopped, going from us to another local CrossFit box then to a different gym for Powerlifting then who knows where from there, all because they think they need the perfect program to meet their goals. There is no perfect program, no perfect routine. Not many group-class gyms like to admit this, but their programming isn’t that special. Neither is ours. We follow a template we believe helps the wide majority of people progress, but it’s not perfect for YOU, specifically. It’s good for everyone, *in general*. What makes any of these programs work for you, specifically, is simply showing up consistently every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year. You get what you work for. And SHOWING UP is vitally important.
3. Play the Long Game
Let me further tell you the importance of consistency…. “You want to get better at everything, and you want it to happen yesterday.” Arguably, a lot of us are guilty of this. However, the line that separates those who want to be good and those who want to become good is the ability to break goals into smaller pieces, and accomplish them in segments. Fitness and a killer mirror selfie aren’t built in a day.
4. Does Life Happen to You, or Do You Dictate Terms?
People who successfully add muscle or lose body fat don’t let their day happen and then see if they can fit the gym in. They have non-negotiables in their daily routine, and the gym is one of them. They are going to the gym today. And then they structure the rest of their day to make sure the gym fits. Make the gym a non-negotiable.
5. Eating Real Food Is More Important Than Supplements
We’ve switched to Ascent protein because we believe it’s cleaner and better for us, overall. It’s not as sweet-tasting as our old provider, but that happens when choosing a cleaner product. But, hopefully we haven’t led you to believe that supplements are the answer to all of your fitness prayers. They aren’t. No supplement is going to replace the calories you need to get leaner or stronger. Pills and powders don’t do that on their own, that’s why they’re called a supplement, not a replacement.
6. Record Your Lifts
Recording your lifts and watching them after is an excellent way to study your movements to learn how to improve them next time. We, as coaches, can use various verbal and tactile instruction to help you lift better, but we know that many people simply aren’t connected to their bodies; so, putting our words into your actions can be tough. Camera-phones record in amazing clarity these days, and recording your lifts can help you cross the divide between our words and your actions. You might not need to do this every time you’re in class, but try using it on a lift that’s proving to be frustrating for you.