Recognise your progress, now!
Some freakin’ motivation for you all! Progress! Literally the most important factor when it comes to improving your physique and/or performance. I recently got into a discussion with a client of mine about their current goals, expectations and so on, and some way down the line we got talking about how far they’d already come. Now, I tend to have similar conversations with a lot of my clients now and again, and this comes down to the importance of recognising and realising your own progress. I love the fact that my clients (and a lot of people out there) are goal driven and are racing towards that next personal best or next big achievement. The problem with this is, sometimes people tend to compare themselves to others and become disheartened, and its during this time they often forget or don’t appreciate where they came from and how far they’ve already come. I had a similar revelation not too long ago myself while bench pressing. Now, I’ve never been a good bench presser (and I’m still not so I guess my point here is invalid) but I’ve always been somewhat ok at squatting, deadlifting and overhead pressing. Bench pressing however, just seemed to be my nemesis and it took me far longer than it should have to be routinely benching 3 plates per side. So, I was benching the other day and warming up with 100kg and it got me thinking about the time when I first benched 100kg for an ugly ass single rep and how it took me what seemed like an age to surpass that personal best. In addition to that, I’ve reflected on the time where I first squatted 180kg and then the time I hit it for 20 reps with a safety squat bar not too long ago and an easy set of 8 beltless (with reps left in the tank) more recently, or the time I hit my first 60kg overhead press and then my first 100kg strict press. Another thing I’ve surprised and impressed myself with is my actual physique. Lifting big numbers is fucking great, but not at the expense of being a fat fuck……which I was. Now, after dropping from around 100kg to 88kg I might be a tad weaker (though I’m quickly closing that gap), but I look and feel a million times better! It’s good to reflect on where you were and where you are now. Recognise your progress and appreciate how far you’ve come, even if you’ve still got a way to go. Training should be about enjoying the process and the journey, not fixating on the destination. Now, without trying to sound like a dick (but most likely failing miserably) I will say that on some occasions you will have to take a step back, be self-accountable and realise you might’ve fucked up. For example, if you’re a young male with at least average genetics who’s been training properly (or at least consistently) for 1-2 years and can’t hit a 60kg overhead press, a 140kg squat, a 100kg bench press and/or a 180kg deadlift then maybe consider what the fuck you’ve been doing all this time? For the genetically average woman I’d expect you to hit a 30kg strict press, 60kg squat, 45kg bench press and 100kg deadlift within 1-2 years of consistent training. And if you know you’ve been fucking around, accept the blame and make a change. Similarly, if you’ve been dieting and/or training for months on end but haven’t made any significant progress then again, ask yourself what the fuck’s been going on and be honest with yourself. Those numbers listed above are my personal novice strength standards, and every new lifter I train should be hitting them within 1-2 years. If you’re content with flip flopping and fiddle-fucking around and doing everything but getting stronger then fair play. Just enjoy the consequence of wasting your time and being weak. Coming back to strength training and not being intimidated or put off by others; there are guys my weight, shit even guys lighter than me and even women squatting ,deadlifting and pressing more than me and probably you! So fucking what? If you’re enjoying yourself and making progress don’t fucking concern yourself with what someone else is doing. If you have a lifting partner that happens to be stronger than you then support them, like you’d expect them to support you. You’re in it for the long haul so why the fuck would you burden yourself with comparing yourself to someone else? Don’t confuse that with being goal driven or feeding off some healthy competition. That shit’s great, but don’t fucking cry or moan about not being as strong, as fast or as fit as someone else. Work towards your own goals…but have those goals be fucking worthy! For example, I once overheard a bloke saying one of his lifetime training goals was to squat 100kg! What in the fuck is that? If, as a relatively healthy, able male your ultimate long term goal is to squat 100kg then fuck off taking space in the squat rack. You might as well not be there. For fuck sake people, push yourselves! Set almost unrealistic goals! Demand more from yourself! Thing is, after your noob or beginner gains everything is gonna start to slow down, and if you stick it out long enough to be an advanced lifter then the PBs are gonna be few and far between, so you gotta do it because you love it…or because you don’t like the idea of being fat and/or weak. Having said that, your noob gains are gonna be the best gains of your life, so do something proper and don’t fiddlefuck around! Fucking train! The secret from then on isn’t anything magical; be disciplined (because motivation will wane), be consistent and develop autonomy. If you develop these traits, you’ll have years, decades even of making progress and adding weight to the bar. If you’re at the stage …
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