Three "Musts" of Athletic Success

Workout of the Day--March 8, 2016

8 Rounds
5 Ring dips
3 Front Squats (155/105)
1 Wall Walk
200M Run

 
 Diane has a strong snatch. And, she will have a table of her jewelry at the next friday night lights for your shopping enjoyment.

Diane has a strong snatch. And, she will have a table of her jewelry at the next friday night lights for your shopping enjoyment.

 

Three "Musts" of Athletic Success

This is a summation of an article by Charles Staley published on BreakingMuscle.com. The article is paraphrased and edited because I want you to hear his message without some of the details of his own personal training.  I also thought some additional perspective was needed in a couple of places. HIs ideas struck a chord with me and made me rethink some of my own practices. Read on.

1. Prioritize Progression

Progression doesn’t need to happen exactly as planned every single workout, nor can it. But the overall trend must be constantly upward.

  • If your target is strength, you need to constantly put more weight on the bar.
  • If your objective is more muscle, you need to constantly add volume to your workouts. 
  • If you want more endurance, you’ve gotta put more miles in. 
  • If you’re after better mobility, you’ll need to put more time into drills that promote mobility.

Progression depends on journaling your workouts. Few people can rely on their memory to keep track of their rep PRs on the numerous exercises they do. Progression requires consistent technique. Lifters commonly employ all sorts of tricks to fool themselves into thinking they’re making progress when they really aren’t. Cutting depth on the squat, accepting less than 100% quality movement, or modifying loads/reps based on "how you feel that day" are just a few examples of these tactics. Make sure your exercise technique is absolutely consistent, so that you’ll be comparing apples to apples in your efforts to progress the difficulty of your workouts.

2. Solicit Social Support

From a standard bell curve point of view, if you’ve got goals that mean a lot to you, you’re going to be in the minority. That by itself conspires to erode your determination, so find some like-minded people who’ll support you when you’re tired and stressed and tempted to stay home instead of train. This could mean a training partner (I’ve got three, just in case), a coach (in person or online), or perhaps social media friends who share your passion. Either way, no matter how strong your resolve might be, you’ll do even better with social support. If you don’t have it, get it. 

3. Manage Your Macros 

All I’m suggesting here is that you monitor (and journal) your macros. By paying attention to your nutrition, you’re attending to the one metric that determines perhaps 80-85 percent of your overall success with your fitness program, particularly when it comes to performance and body composition.

Improving body composition goes a long way toward improving your performance. Reducing your body fat percentage from 20 to 15 probably won’t add pounds to your max squat or deadlift, but it will help everything else, from pull ups to endurance-related activities to pretty much everything you’re likely to face in everyday life. 

And in the end, when you look good, you feel good. That, all by itself, will add fuel to your training efforts.