Set Goals, Execute the Plan, Evaluate Results
Most people begin training for a reason. They want bigger arms, they want to lose weight, they want to be a world class powerlifter, they want to have a bigger impact on the rugby field – there are as many reasons as there are lifters. Why, then, do so many people spin their wheels?
There is a quote that goes along the lines of ‘insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results’. If you tried xyz and it didn’t make you stronger / bigger / faster, then continuing to do xyz is a waste of your time.
So stop wasting time – set goals, make a plan, and evaluate your results. Here is a personal example:
1. Set goals
Earlier this year, my goals were:
Drop weight to hit the 93kg weight class, while maintaining as much strength as possible.
Give sumo stance deadlifts a full training cycle of practice, to see if it was a stronger position.
Now, these two statements do not fulfil the entire ‘SMART’ goals criteria – but they gave my training a firm purpose and direction.
2. Make a plan
I chose to utilise a well-known training system/program (Sheiko), because I never stuck to the programs I wrote for myself.
I chose to set up an eating plan for 6 days a week, and have 1 cheat day because I cannot be bothered counting macros.
Both of these decisions required honest evaluation of my habits and previous failures – I have tried these methods in the past and failed. This isn’t to say you cannot write your own program, or succeed in counting macros – just that I can’t.
3. Evaluate results
Over the course of 14 weeks I dropped from 107kg to 97kg (4kg short of my goal – 93kg).
My competition lifts were 230kg squat / 150kg bench / 220kg deadlift (sumo).
My previous bests at 110kg were 240kg squat / 170kg bench / 250kg deadlift (conventional).
Overall progress was good, but there was definitely room for improvement:
My cheat meal turned into a cheat day, which resulted in my weight loss progress stalling towards the end of the training cycle.
Sumo deadlifts are simply not a strong position for me – going forward I will continue to pull from a conventional stance.
I retained a good level of strength in the squat and bench press. The bench press on the day of the competition was very comfortable, with some left in the tank. This gives me confidence in continuing to utilise the Sheiko training method.
Now the entire process begins again. Set goals, make a plan, and evaluate that plans success or failure. Don’t hope for results, hunt them down.