The most successful bodybuilder of all time to hail from the UK and one of the most on a global scale, Dorian Yates used one of the most simplistic approaches to training to make incredible gains to his goliath like physique on an annual basis. Most of you reading this might have absolutely no interest in the extremities of bodybuilding as we know it, and that is absolutely fine. However, even if there is no appeal there on your behalf the principle remains the same – the Dorian Yates approach to his training worked.
However, rather than talk about the actual training he did today we are going to talk about the one fundamental rule he used which allowed him to over achieve and beat far more genetically gifted athletes than himself.
Dorian tracked his progress meticulously on a weekly basis, workout by workout. Every workout he went into required him to match the same weight used last week and get more reps, or lift more weight. This might have meant using forced reps with a training partners (it often did) to beat his last best, but whatever it took the ‘’record’’ from the prior week was not only met but beat every single week. To do this, Dorian needed to update his little notebook every week to the letter so he knew exactly what was required of him the following week.
Is this very simple? Absolutely right it is, but the application of this extremely simple rule has the potential to unlock new levels of growth and strength. It is possibly the MOST effective way to smash through a plateau and make ground into unchartered territories. Does this only apply if you want to be a muscle bound bodybuilder? Absolutely not, the context of the goal might change but the underlying principle remains the same.
Tracking your progress in the short term might be the best thing you ever did for long term success at whatever it is you do. If you race, tracking your times on a short term basis and aiming to constantly beat them is great for long term improvement. Back on the topic of muscle growth, for anybody who feels that the ‘’good old days’’ of growing on a weekly basis as a beginner have long gone try this approach for 4-8 weeks. In that time track everything (reps and weight used) and beat those scores every single week. By definition the body has to adapt and this will usually be through muscle growth and strength.
There is nothing fancy or sexy about this, just pure grit and intensity to constantly beat your last record and force adaptation. Track your progress and strive for constant self-improvement!