As you gain more experience in the gym it stands to reason that you will make better progress, right? You know more about everything, you should know what works for you and it should all come together nicely. Well, as nice and as simple as that sounds it is not always the case. Sometimes you will find as you train for longer periods of time you lose sight of your goal and where your training is really taking you. What started out as a 12 week transformation may now be just another stint of training, what started out as a mission to increase your bench press by 30KG has now dwindled into ‘get strong as possible’ training instead. You get the picture, you start off with ambition and instead find yourself side tracked and heading down the wrong path! Here are 5 ways to get back on track in the gym!
Pen and paper
It is amazing what writing a goal down can actually do! We all have ambition in different parts of our life, but the truth and reality of it is 95% of the time that is all it ever stays as, ambition. To put something into action you need to see it, and to see it you need to write it down. Various studies have given strong indications to prove that people who write their goals down and read them daily are far more likely to succeed. So, whatever it is your gym time is meant to help you achieve, write it down right NOW! If your goal is to get ripped abs, then write it down and monitor on a weekly basis what your weight is doing and if your visually getting leaner in the mirror. Never take your eye off your goals! Review your progress on paper and adjust your actions accordingly to stay on track.
How many times have you gone to the gym with a specific workout in place, only for a training partner to say ‘let’s do this’ and you do it. Why? Clearly, the workout you had planned was part of your journey towards your goal and now you’re letting someone else tell you to train a different way?! If this sounds like you, sack them! On the other hand, it would be very beneficial to find a training partner who is equally as serious about achieving the very same goal as you (relatively speaking) because you can push one another!
Back to basics
I have seen many very experienced trainers start new methods simply because they feel they should. Often they will get these ideas from various magazines, you know the type of BS I am talking about, kneeling on fitness ball whilst doing curls for example. The truth is you need to get back to basics and hit your body hard every session. That magic workout you’re looking for doesn’t exist; it is simply a case of increasing your intensity in the gym with all the basic training knowledge you have built up. There is no substitute for raw intensity and good form in the gym, so use it!
Whatever your goal make your training progressive. If you do the same amount of sets, the same amount of reps with the same amount of weight every week, guess what, you’re not going to progress. Challenge yourself every session, week on week to push yourself that little bit harder. Then, in contrast every 3-4 weeks have a week where you allow the body to recovery properly with less intense training. If you make progress with your workouts you will be mentally stimulated to train harder than ever before. For gym bunnies, there is nothing like that buzz of lifting a weight for the time or for a certain number of repetitions.
This point kind of binds all the previous ones together. Why is it you are training, why is it you are training the way you are? Example – if you’re aiming to increase strength and speed in the ring as an MMA fighter, then why the hell are you mincing about doing sarcoplasmic hypertrophy training?! Do big guns win a fight for you? NO! Functional, strong arms will win you a fight and there is a big difference between the two! I see so many ‘fighters’ training just like a bodybuilder which is crazy! That is just one example, remember why you are in the gym and then make sure your training is relevant to that goal. This will soon get you back on track!
Follow these 5 steps and you will quickly feel more energised and mentally focused in the gym. Making the most of every workout is all about knowing what to do in the first place!