1. Keep it simple: You don’t need to do anything fancy like using accommodating resistance (lifting with or against band and chains), barbell and dumbbell work should be your bread and butter. Focus on proven exercises that you can easily track. Don’t sacrifice a PR at the end of a training cycle for the fun of training a new exercise every workout.
  2. Follow a program: Going into a gym and just doing whatever you feel like is the worst thing you can do, it usually leads to doing what’s easy or what you enjoy the most rather than working on what you need to. In this scenario it’s also a lot easier to just stop when things get hard. Have a structured program and have goals attached to that program. If your program gives you set numbers and weights to do chances are you will push a lot harder to complete them if they are on paper, especially the last few reps that you might have given up on if you didn’t have to do it.
  3. Be accountable to someone: There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. In a nutshell, intrinsic motivation is your motivation to do something because you get satisfaction from doing it and extrinsic motivation is your motivation to do something because of the reward you will get from someone else. Whether it be a training partner you don’t want to let down, a coach that will call you out or an online coach you have to report back to, have at least one of these to keep you accountable to your goals so that you don’t fall off track.
  4. Stop maxing out every few weeks: This is a huge pet peeve of mine. What’s the point of maxing out your lifts when you haven’t planned or prepared properly for it. Have confidence that your coach or program will give you a PR at the end of the cycle rather than test every few weeks and not getting very far or even worse going backward. Why not follow a program for 12 weeks that has you continuously build strength then test at the end when you’ve peaked for a far bigger number??? Leave your ego at home and train rather than test all the time.
  5. Make sure to deload: At this level one of the biggest mistakes I see is people not deloading, they seem to want to go hard all the time. Taking a deload will let you fully recover both physically and mentally from training and typically come back stronger than before. It will also help you reduce the chances of an injury from repetitive strain which typically happens when a muscle/tendon never fully recovers fully from training.

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