Most people show up to the gym without a plan, and that’s a mistake. A good program will have your specific goals in mind.
Every rep, every set and every exercise should bring you one step closer to your goal(s). How do you make sure you’re on the right track?
1. Follow a training program that takes the guesswork out of exercise selection, order and the other important details.
A good plan will be repetitive for a period of time, it will be cohesive in design and it will deliver a specific outcome. Program hopping every week and doing random exercises in the gym yields little to no results.
2. Track your weights, sets, reps, lifting tempo, rest periods and reps in reserve (RIR).
It’s difficult to progressively overload effectively and troubleshoot any issues if you’re not keeping track of what you’re doing in the gym.
3. Don’t bring your phone into the gym with you.
I realize most people rely on apps and listen to music on their phone, so this probably sounds crazy, but the clarity and focus you get without your phone attached to your hand is incredible. Not to mention, your intensity goes through the roof.
4. Monitor your self-talk and keep it helpful.
If you get pumped up while using a self-deprecating internal dialogue, then by all means talk a little shit. But if you know you need to be kind to yourself in order to be effective, then be mindful of the voices in your head. Make them work for you.
5. Stay present while training.
It’s easy to drift off while lifting weights and worry about all of the things you have to do that day or rush through your training session just to check the “I worked out today” box, but you’re jeopardizing results by disassociating. Stay present and allow yourself to be in the moment. Lactic acid, the deep ache of a muscle burning, the eccentric stretch. Feel it all.
Time is the most valuable commodity we have. Don’t waste it spinning your wheels for months and years on end. Put the pieces together properly and enjoy the results.