“But the program told me to do it.”
The program is a guide. It is a collection of numbers making up reps and sets. The program assumes that the numbers entered originally are genuinely at the limit of what a person can do. The program also assumes the outcome is going to be a new max. A new limit. Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case. Not many people train at the limits of what their body is capable of, meaning the program will never push them very far. So this brings it back to the program being a guide.
People need to take more ownership of their training. Don’t completely rely on the program. A program is like a map. But like a map it doesn’t have to be followed to the letter. Just make sure you head in the right direction.
If the program is telling you to squat and you’ve had a bad day and you’re head just isn’t there. Don’t squat. If you’re not feeling well. Don’t squat. If you haven’t slept. Don’t squat. If you’re dog just died. Don’t squat. If you’re not going to be able to push yourself to your limits, dont squat! Take the day off. Get your head right and do it the day after. You do more damage to your training, and ultimately your results, by training badly than if you simply took a few days off.
Always have a bigger picture in mind.
I know what I’m trying to do with my training even before I write a program. I build the program around that goal. The exercises I put in the program are there for a reason. The weights are somewhat suggestive. I already know what I want to lift each week before I’ve written the program. In my head I’ve broken down the next 4-8 weeks set by set. The program is just a way for me to record what I’m doing. The beauty of our rep calculator is that I can change the weights and reps and still measure it against previous weeks to make sure I’m progressing.
When I was a 220kg deadlifter, 340kg was my goal. 260kg was my first goal and 300kg was what I was working towards, but 340kg was the end game. When 260kg was achieved, 300kg was the next step but 340kg was still in the back of my mind. Every deadlift set was done with that goal in mind. Every time my brain wanted to quit. Every time my back hurt or my legs wanted to fail, that goal was there. Everything I did was based around that goal. So if something was going to hinder my progress of achieving that goal, I didn’t do it.
Always have a bigger picture in mind. Always be working towards something bigger and better.
If you’re a 180kg deadlifter then your next goal should be 220kg with a focus on 260kg after that.
If you’re a 100kg deadlifter, your first goal should be 140kg with 180kg after that.
I can hear people now saying, “I could never lift that. I would love to be able to do that!”
So train for it!
Will deadlifting 140kg x 10 help you pick up 260kg? No. Will it help you pick up 220kg? No.
Will deadlifting 100kg x 8 help you pick up 180kg? No. Will it help you pick up 140kg? No.
Look at your training and take bigger steps to make progress. Get out of the comfort zone of weights and reps that are “doable” and start pushing numbers that really cause your mind and body some serious stress. Sometimes you’ll fail. But over time you’ll progress. Doing what you are already capable of isn’t going to magically turn you into a superior athlete with a spectacular body.
Know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Know where you are trying to go.
It needs to have meaning to you.
Never be happy with what you’ve done. Always be pissed off you haven’t done more.
Simply following a page with numbers on it doesn’t mean anything if those numbers aren’t attached to something personal.
If it doesn’t mean anything then you wont push harder to get to your goal.
Always have a bigger picture in mind.