A BIG Mistake You Could be Making in Your Workouts That’s Costing You Results
“I’m not getting the results I expected and that I think I should be seeing.”
“Are you working hard on each exercise? Are you using a challenging load and constantly improving your performance?”
“Yep. I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ve been following the program as written without any changes.”
We were walking towards the free weight area of the gym to begin our workouts. I started my warm-up and she began her first exercise – barbell back squats.
As I was doing weighted push-ups and inverted rows, she kept squatting away. Between my sets I’d watch her squat; her form looked excellent but she appeared to still be warming up.
After I completed all of my sets for push-ups and rows, I noticed her stripping off the weight plates.
“Are you done squatting?” I asked curiously.
“Yep. All done with squats. I did 4×6 today.”
“Ummm. I think I know why you’re not getting the results you’re after.” She gave me a puzzled look and I continued. “All of your ’work sets’ looked like nothing more than a warm-up. The weight definitely wasn’t challenging because I noticed your eyes wondering during each set so you definitely weren’t focused, and it looked like you could’ve done at least 10 or more reps on every set.”
“But . . . I’m doing it.”
“Yeah, well, you’re not doing it optimally. And that’s why you’re not getting results.”
We proceeded to put more weight on the bar and she slowly worked up to a heavier set. She ended up with 20 more pounds on the bar then she had on her final set of squats a few minutes earlier.
I stood by as she did 6 reps with the new, heavier, more challenging work weight. And still with picture perfect form on every rep.
After she completed the set and racked the bar, she stood silent. Finally she spoke, ”Wow. I can definitely tell the difference. I actually had to focus on every single rep. I didn’t know I was that strong either!” she exclaimed. “I had no idea I could squat that much.”
I’ve witnessed this over and over throughout my strength training career. And it’s costing people results.
That’s the one super simple tweak that will give you better results – make sure you’re using a challenging weight for your exercises. Don’t use a weight for 6 reps that you could easily do for 12 or more. (Note – exceptions include deloads and explosive exercises).
Always make sure you’re using proper form on every single rep, but be sure to challenge yourself. You should have to focus intently on the task at hand. You should have to work hard. Over time, you should be doing more reps with the same weight, adding weight to the bar, or in the case of bodyweight exercises — doing a more challenging variation.
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself (just be safe, of course). You’ll see, and feel, the difference.
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