by Ryan Stinn
Everyone wants to lift more and more and get stronger and stronger. That's why we keep doing this to ourselves! However after the first few months, or for those lucky few, years the progress begins to slow down, stall or even regress! We are going to share five tips that can help take your training to the next level.
1. Be Consistent
Consistency is the difference between good and great. The best lifters out there are the ones putting in the work week after week. They aren't making excuses not to go to the gym every other day or missing a week of training every other month. If you train 3, 4 or 5 days a week doesn't matter but stick to your plan, show up and do the work.
2. Every Rep Matters
We see a lot of newer lifters that flop and fumble through their warm up sets, just going through the motions. This is the wrong attitude! Every time you handle a bar is a chance to practice, hone and perfect your lifts. Every squat walk out from the empty bar to the heaviest singles should be repeated exactly the same. Every deadlift setup, every bench rep, same. Practice, hone, perfect, repeat.
3. Do Work
If your top set of your workout is 200kg, you probably should be counting that set with 120kg. Perhaps worse than that, and I'll admit to being a bit guilty of this sometimes, your working sets should be WORK, they aren't supposed to be easy. Your body adapts to training when it's forced to adapt due to hard work, if you are doing fluffy weights every workout or 9/10 sets then you probably aren't putting in enough work to get the job done. THIS GOES FOR YOUR ACCESSORIES TOO!
4. Train Your Weakness
Many of the times we hate accessories or secondary movements that we aren't good or that we are weak at. Nobody likes to take the big plates off or use the small dumbbells. However if you need to bring up a weakness you need to check your ego at the door and load the appropriate weight on those exercises you know you should do.
5. Recover Hard
No one likes to talk about the power of a good night sleep, well nobody except your Mom probably. That said, studies have shown that getting enough sleep, 9-10+ hours a night, has been shown to markedly improve performance in high level athletes. Good sleep hygiene is important, from reducing blue light exposure before bedtime to keeping a consistent sleep/wake cycle.
Beyond sleep, nutrition is also incredibly important for recovery. Eating both enough calories, as well as enough high quality food is important to recover from high intensity training. Everyone is focused on the macros (Fat, Carbs, Protein) but micros should not be ignored. Eating quality food will help ensure you are getting a good micronutrient intake as well.