Strength training is a game of consistency and patience. You gotta put in the work, and the work takes time.
Today I want to talk about a more ‘immediate’ form of patience – patience between reps. I see a lot of lifters who rush their reps, ‘banging them out’. This leaves little time for them to reset their position or focus.
If we think of each rep of a bench press, we are trying to hone in on the movement pattern that will allow us to move the most weight. Before the first rep is even unracked, we have put a lot of effort into getting into the best position we can to maximise tightness and provide a solid, stable platform from which to move the weight. After rep one, you might have lost 1-2% of that tightness. After rep two, another 2%. And another. By the end of a set, how similar does rep 5, 6, 7 or 8 look to that first rep? If every rep after the first is different, how much quality practice aka training did you actually do?
This is where lifters require patience – it’s not enough to set up great for just the first rep. You have to maintain it, constantly strive for it. Between rep one and two, reset. Between rep two and three, reset… you get the idea.
This process is tiring. You will probably lift less weight for a while. This is because you have not trained yourself to maintain the tightness required over the duration of a set / training session. Over time, this will improve and you will start to reap the benefits of a more consistent, tighter position! You will be doing more quality training volume and this will translate into PRs long term.
Sometimes you don’t need more training, more volume… you just need better training, better volume.