There are a lot of factors when it comes to getting results in the gym. Diet, programming, form. The list goes on and on. To my mind, though, there are two factors that will determine success far and above anything else: consistency and commitment to strength training.
Consistency: Progress doesn’t generally come in leaps and bounds. It comes in drips and drops.
I took Tae Kwon Do many years ago. One time there was a leaky faucet in the shower. There was a bucket full of water below it. The instructor told us to take a look and said something I’ll never forget. He said, “Each drop doesn’t mean much but they eventually fill the bucket. Each class you take is a drop. Take enough and you will soon have a full bucket!”
It is no coincidence that the clients that are here consistently get the best results. Their buckets are getting fuller by the day!
Sometimes one of my clients will mention that they’re tired or not feeling well and almost didn’t make their session. Almost every time they tell me how glad they are that they came. We can’t help people if they’re not here.
Commitment to strength training: OK. You just walked through the door. Congratulations! Well, now that you’re here you might as well work, right? The bottom line is that other than diet (which we all know is the most important thing when it comes to changing your body composition) strength training is the best way to improve your body composition. It builds lean body, which increases your metabolism, it allows you to burn more calories at rest, and it also gives people a mentality that allows for hard work.
Here’s the key though. You’ve got to push it. Everyone says they do but here’s a little test:
You’ve just completed your second working set of 10 squats, which is your main lift for the day. You have one more set. The set wasn’t easy but your form was good throughout. Do you go heavier on your last set?
If you even have to think about the answer or are making excuses right now you don’t really push it. Sorry. The truth hurts sometimes.
By the way, I know there are cases where someone wouldn’t go heavier in this scenario but the majority of the time they should if they’re looking for changes in their body.
Last week a few of my clients were admiring another one of my clients arms. They were asking her about what exercises she did , what she ate, etc. These are legitimate, normal questions but there is something they may or may not have known. This client had relatively recently had a surgery that rendered one of her hands basically useless for about 10 weeks. How much gym time did she miss? About 3 weeks. That means that for almost two months we had to find things for her to do that didn’t use one arm. When it comes down to it, this is more responsible for her arms than any exercise or diet. This is an attitude and work ethic that says that whatever happens she’ll push through and when it comes down to it, that kind of mentality is what really matters.
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach, FMS
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
I Help People Discover Their Strength!