Hitting those goals
I’ll then tell them to print out a calendar and post it where they’ll see it every day. From there I’ll tell them to write down their process goals so that each day they follow through they can place a checkmark or cross them off on the calendar. The idea is to achieve 90% compliance each week.
There’s something magical that happens when people are able to see legitimate proof that they’re nailing their goals. It helps to keep them accountable and on task. And, after a while, the law of consistency will take over. Granted, they will not see change immediately, but they won’t look like Steve Urkle either.
A Workout Log
I had a client express frustration that he wasn’t seeing the strength gains he’d hoped for. I looked at his programme and noticed it was blank. The exercises were listed of course, along with the number of sets and reps requested, but that was it. No creases in the paper, chicken scratch, or even stick figures to remind him what a pull-through was. It was as if I had handed him his programme an hour ago.
I asked him: “So, uh, how much weight did you use for your squats last week?” His response: Uhhh (silence) That was his problem. He was more or less guessing and going off memory each week. Sound familiar?
Here is a simple fix: Write your stuff down. Track it. Stop playing the guessing game. I know we live in a tech savvy world now and there’s an app for everything, but I still find using a regular old notebook and pen my preferred way to log workouts.
Along with tracking sets/reps I’ll also make note of RPE (rate of perceived exertion) and even write down general observations of how I feel on any given day. All of it provides pertinent information which allows me to gauge progress and make necessary tweaks to programmes moving forward. Do it.
Time and time again, the one thing I adjust the most with my athletes, especially when they’re not seeing progress in the gym, is their sleep habits. The answer is usually not cryotherapy, submersion baths or whatever modality you can think of.
Sleep is the one thing that’ll singlehandedly have the most profound effect on your ability to get shredded, deadlift the national record or any other fitness/performance endeavour you can think of.