And why you should too. 

By Philip Wilkins

Here's a video clip of me a while back hitting a 150kg clean.  A great moment but besides being a moment of celebration, it goes far deeper than that.

 
 

 

Whenever we see someone achieve something outstanding (whether than be in their career or personal life) we only get to see the victory 'moment'.  We don't get to see the blood sweat and tears, the failed attempts and the sheer hard work involved.

So what you see in that video clip is my victory moment.  What you don't see is the years of training, focus, time and dedication that went before it.

Many people outside of fitness say to me how they wish they were as fit or as strong as I am.  My answer is simple "set yourself a goal and start working towards it".  I started out at the beginning too.  

Here are 5 key points to think about when setting yourself a goal in the gym;

1.  Start a journal and track your progress - a great way to see the small but incremental changes that will lead to you hitting your overall goal.  When you're having a bad day you'll be able to take a look and see how far you've actually come.

2.  Record all your PB's - it's important to have a log of all your personal best scores and refer to them regularly.

3.  Write a plan - at work you always have some kind of roadmap that gives you and your team or colleagues a sense of strategic direction.  It's no different in the gym.  Avoid just showing up and working out.  Instead, build a sensible plan that has a strategic aim.

4.  Test - every so often test yourself to see where you are and how far you've progressed.  It will show you where your strengths are and equally highlight weaknesses.  And believe me, nothing gives you more encouragement that setting a new PB.

5.  Work with percentages - and don't always try and hit your PB.   If you're lifting weights or performing complex Olympic lifts (or even running marathons for time)  then work with percentages.  Trying to smash your PB at every session will put enormous strain on you central nervous system and leave you over trained.  Work at 80% or 90% of your target and perfect your form, technique and delivery.  

Imagine if you attempted PB's at every session but failed each time. It wouldn't make you feel good. But more importantly your bad technique would begin to enforce bad habits. Effectively you would be getting better at being bad. You'd be perfecting your bad habits. Leave the PB for testing weeks.  That way you'll be doing the opposite, hitting successful lifts, feeling good about them and all the while enforcing great technique.

Patience is key.