Relentless Application of the Basics
Success in training is about relentless application of the basics. Before you look for a complex solution to your training frustrations, honestly reflect on the following questions:
- Do I have a clearly defined goal?
- Is my training truly focused on that goal or am I distracting myself with cool but non-essential exercises or techniques?
- Do I have unrealistic expectations? (Am I trying to be ripped by Tuesday? Am I expecting to gain 40 pounds of muscle in a month?)
- Am I doing the big, hard, uncomfortable, result-producing exercises?
- Am I keeping a training journal?
- Am I getting better at these exercises by regularly adding weight?
- Am I training consistently?
- Am I following a program for an appropriate amount of time or am I guilty of program-hopping?
- Am I consistently monitoring goal-relevant assessments (e.g. measurements)?
Answer these questions:
- Is my nutrition on track? Am I keeping a food log?
- Am I consistently using the right supplements for my goals?
- Do I get enough sleep?
- Am I getting sufficient rest? (Is that two-hour post-training game of pick-up basketball killing my muscle gains?)
- Am I managing my stress effectively and proactively avoiding unnecessary stress?
You've heard this stuff before, but are you consistently doing it? Print off this list and put a check beside each item that might need some improvement. Then, actively address the checks. Many people mistakenly look for a programming solution when they aren't practicing basic training, nutrition, or lifestyle habits.