5 Top Tips for Seeing Progress
Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Gains. We all love them. Whether it be running faster or longer, jumping higher, lifting more or losing a couple of centimetres here or there - there is no better feeling than bettering yourself!
Gains can be elusive though, if you're not careful. Turning up to the gym is one thing (and can be a massive thing, sometimes), but if you really want to see progress, stepping foot into the gym and heading straight back out will not cut it!
Here are 5 of my top tips to see progress in yourself and in the gym.
1. Above all else - stay consistent! 1 week of working out and seeing no results is enough to put some people off. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are sculpted physiques! The old adage goes that it takes 4 weeks for someone to notice, 8 weeks for another guy to notice (or something like that). Basically, keep turning up. Good things don't come easy.
2. Find and stick to a routine. Going into a workout and training whatever you feel like (99% of the time it’s probably chest and arms - I see you, past self) can work for very short term gains. However, having knowledge of what you did last time and trying to beat it in the next session is one of the keys to unlocking strength and size! If you lifted 10kg one week, try 10.5kg the next. If you walked 8,000 steps one day, try 8,001 the next time you go out. Write down what you did or keep track of it somehow. This way the next time you come to the gym or do your chosen workout, you'll know what you did and what you're aiming to beat.
3. Within your limits, train hard! Again, short term gains can be seen with low intensity training as your body adapts to new movements, which is great for getting into working out as you don't want to rush that. When these gains slow down though, the real progress won’t be seen by turning up to Body Pump every week and lifting the same weights. Push yourself harder than the last time and be in a fierce competition with only one person - yourself!
4. Use proper technique. You see it in every gym you go to - people claiming they can lift x amount of weight (usually "easily", too). Then, when you watch them, it turns out they are pretty much snapping their spine in half whilst deadlifting or doing the ol' knee twitch squats. Take a hit to your ego and learn how to go through proper technique with full range of motion (or as much as you can produce), the gains you will see when you begin lifting properly will be huge. Not only to your strength and progress, but also in your joint health and overall wellbeing!
5. Stick to the basics. You don’t need to perform super elaborate movements or “shock” your muscles to get bigger. Simple movements performed with proper technique will lead to maximum muscle recruitment and a real stimulus to grow. Couple this with trying to progress in either reps, sets, weight or time under tension in your next session will allow you to push your limits and gain hugely. No more "psycho crunches" (not kidding about that name, I seen someone who had it written on a whiteboard and I was too scared to ask what it was). Keep things under control and progress what you need to in order to get better at what you need to - simple!
BONUS TIP - You can't out-train a bad diet!