A few months ago, I posted a blog called “Why You’re Not Making Progress” (click here to read.) There was a lot of tough love in that post, which I apologise about, but… it needed to be said.
While I still hold very true to what I said in that article, I also know that there are a hundred and one reasons why you’re not making progress, and in this post I want to talk to you about another huge factor which might be holding you back.
WHY YOU’RE NOT MAKING PROGRESS
Plain and simple: because you’re doing it wrong.
Or rather, because you’re doing it wrong for you.
Let me ask you a question.
How many things do you do that were already decided for you, that you do just because everybody else does, or because your parents did it or your friends do it and you just followed the trend?
I’m gonna give you an example. I’ve put this into a food analogy so I know I’ve got your attention.
You were told to use salt and pepper for seasoning, right?
Cool. That’s fine. Salt and pepper are awesome. They work well in almost everything.
But did you ever think there’s something that might work even better? Did you ever research or try out new recipes and spices and other ways to enhance the flavours of whatever it is that you’re cooking, so that you might enjoy it more? Are you not curious to know how it could be improved?
You see, we often stick with what we know for fear of falling short or failing, but how can we be sure that this is the best option if we never venture away from it? And how would we ever know what we like if we don’t try new things?
We wouldn’t. And this is exactly my point.
Okay… How does this relate to fitness and making progress?
Good question, I’m glad you asked.
It relates because this is happening all the time in fitness and it’s stopping you from making progress.
I’m not telling you to sprinkle some paprika on your barbell. What I’m saying is: stop standing there with your mouth wide open just swallowing everything that we are being fed. Shut your damn mouth. Question what is going on. Ask what and why and how. Research. Experiment. Learn from others, and then learn from yourself. Stop being so passive and figure out what works for you and your body.
I don’t know what stage you are at in your fitness journey: whether you’ve been hitting the gym every day for five years or if you’re still plucking up the courage for your first session, but I do know one thing:
You will spend the first year or so getting it wrong.
And that’s okay. It’s normal. It’s how we learn. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing in the beginning (How I Got Started). I’d learned how to squat and I’d watched a tonne of YouTube videos, but I still didn’t really know what I was doing, or what worked best for me. Quite honestly, it wasn’t until around two years into it that I had properly learned to train in a way that gave me amazing results, and even now I’m still learning.
What did I change?
I changed my training and I learned to train for me.
And sometimes, this is it. This is the key to the door that you have been throwing yourself at and trying to kick down for months but you still just can’t seem to get through it.
Sometimes it’s not that you’re not working hard enough. It’s because you’re not working right. It’s because you don’t have the key.
You’re copying what everyone else is doing, but you’re not everybody else. You’re you. And realising this is of paramount importance to your progress.
Just because @bonnie_bfit says hip thrusts are the secret, does not mean that they are the secret for you. Does not mean that you will have the same results or progress as her if you do exactly as she does. (Does not mean you will suddenly start talking about yourself in a third-person narrative). For example, squats are great but, depending on your body shape, type and height, they might not be the best exercise you could be doing.
Fitness is not a one-size-fits-all. Different bodies react differently to different exercises. You could do the exact same program and eat the same diet as your favourite inspo and still not look the same. Because you’re you and you’re not supposed to look like anybody else. The right program and diet will mould you into your best shape, and how that compares to ‘that girl on Instagram’ or ‘that dude in the gym’ is utterly irrelevant. It’s about you.
So how do I make progress? how do i train for me?
Take advice from people. Read. Watch YouTube videos. Watch Instagram workouts. Gain some knowledge, gain some insight. But then, most importantly of all, get out there and try it.
Trust me when I say it’s worth sacrificing the time to try out some new things. If you’re a beginner, TAKE that time at the beginning to learn and to experiment. If you’re more advanced and find that you are plateauing, TAKE a month off of your normal program and try something new. I know you’re probably very comfortable with your plan and don’t want to change it for fear of going backwards. You won’t. You won’t lose your “gains”. Not only will your body benefit from an adjustment to your training, but you will learn more about what works and does not work for you, and this is a crucial part of what you are building.
Try out different exercises, rep ranges, workout combinations. Different diets, meal timing, meal sizes. Work out what works for YOU, and then execute it to the very best of your ability. Every single day.
This is how you make progress.
Go get ’em tigers,
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