| June 24, 2021

Training mentality and progression

My philosophy has always been, train with purpose. It's imperative, after being in the gym for a long time, to figure out the types of exercises you enjoy doing and emphasize the qualities in which you are seeing results, this goes both mentally, as much as it does physically.

By Steven Fitzpatrick

Read time: 4 min.

My philosophy has always been, train with purpose. It's imperative, after being in the gym for a long time, to figure out the types of exercises you enjoy doing and emphasize the qualities in which you are seeing results, this goes both mentally, as much as it does physically.

You do not have to step on any type of platform or stage, but the quality time in the gym should be made a priority, this means going in with a game plan, every single time. Remember, when the vision is not clear, the road will always be blurry.

A very important part about that being said is you need to truly ask yourself your intention of why you are spending your time there, there is a reason that you go day in and out to the gym when you can be spending your time doing other things, everyone inside those doors has one.

You can be sure that once you find the specific type of exercise that your body best responds to, that you will be much happier following suit to exactly what that might be, whether it be power and strength, Olympic, bodybuilding, CrossFit, or athletic sports performance. Do what makes you feel good, learn to absolutely capitalize on what you choose, leave the bias, judgement and ego at the door every time you walk in, especially the receiving end of the bias, it is your body and state, and what you choose to do with it will be a direct reflection of what happens outside of the door where the people around you will not even likely be around, never forget that.

Make sure to TRACK YOUR PROGRESS. As much as you possibly can, saying that you do not time is an excuse, that or else hire a good choice who understands the importance of every small detail and metric of what you are doing. When you track your progress, this is where you yield results. When you are doing something incorrectly, it is direct evidence that something needs to change, sometimes it takes humbling our ego. We have all been there as experienced lifters, but it is essential to progression. With proper tracking you will have appropriate time frames and said blocks of time to see where this change happens, do not be upset if you do not see the progression fast, this is how we learn, failure is what allows us to see success if we allow it.

Plan. When you enter those doors you should know exactly what your goal is that day, one step at a time, focus on exactly that day to day. If you do not enter the gym with a plan, this is a sure way to not progress and see the changes that you are spending your time going after, it allows you to pre-frame exactly where you need to be when you leave, there will ALWAYS be variables, maybe you had a bad sleep, maybe you are tired, did not eat etc. However this is not a reason to deter from your plan, in fact it is part of the process and understanding that progress is never linear, it will always be an up and down wave that you need to do your best to not allow to cavalcade out of control, true “strength” is mental perseverance, finding a way no matter what and getting back up off your butt when you hard stuff knocks you down. Exercising and not framing what you will do will very quickly lead to boredom, lack of motivation, stress, frustration, waste of time and in time you will find yourself hitting plateaus and asking yourself why you are there, which is the last thing that any individual will ever want.

It is essential to your success that you observe and do not dwell on the negative, what is done is done, especially in power. Let it go and move on, when you observe what you can improve upon you will ALWAYS find a solution if you are willing to dig deep enough. Where there is will there is always a way, keeping your anger and frustration at bay is the true testament to the athlete. There has been a number of times where my training has gone south, things do not always go according to what you may have pictured in your head, but you keep learning, growing and pushing, it is a sure bet that it will eventually, likely sooner than later. Keep your head up, work hard, and like I always say, be patient. With patience itself being said, you may not need to look for a bullet proof training program, something that you think might be “perfect” or a major leak in why you might not be progressing, time, or better said in correlation -- “more time spent under the bar” is likely the case of progression taking time, any good athlete knows that patience is a virtue.

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