How To Progress At The Gym – Full Guide
In this article I will be detailing how to progress at the gym. Progress is very important in all aspects of life – from fitness, finances, relationships, etc. Failure to make progress for a long period in any area can lead to depression and a reduced level of self-esteem. It is therefore very important to strive to make progress wherever we can. Not only will it result in increased happiness and enjoyment but it also provides us with a sense of purpose in our lives.
Do Better Than You Did Last Time
The fundamental concept behind making progress in the gym from lifting weights is “progressive overload”. In essence this is where you increase the demands on your muscles by gradually increasing the weight or adding more reps, etc. Basically you want to improve on your efforts each training day, this will lead to your body adapting to the greater stimulus and spur on an increase in muscle and strength over time.
If all you ever do is come to the gym and lift exactly the same weight for the same number of reps every week, then you can never make any progress. Unfortunately you will see this scenario play out in a lot of gyms. There are quite a few people who have been going to the gym for years but are still lifting exactly the same weights on various exercises as they always have been.
Long Term Consistency
In addition to progressive overload, long term consistency is king when it comes to making progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day like they say. To make real progress is a long process and requires a long term commitment. If you start something and then give up after six months there is no chance of progress.
Therefore if you want to make progress in the gym it is essential to treat this as a lifestyle and a habit that you will commit to long term. Once the habit is engrained it is likely that you will stick with it for the long haul. It is important to enjoy the journey, it is the slow progress you make on the path that leads to more fulfillment than the final destination.
Nutrition is a vital component of results that you will see in the gym. You can’t out-train a bad diet, this means you could have the best training techniques in the world but if you eat junk food you will never make the progress that you want. It is important to eat a well balanced healthy diet that is high in protein and also has adequate carbs. To see an example of a great bodybuilding diet check out this article that I wrote – click here.
A common mistake that many people who go to the gym make is to eat really clean during the week and then binge on the weekends with unhealthy foods. This is a big mistake as you are undoing all your effort during the week and sabotaging your progress. It is perfectly fine to reward yourself with a cheat meal from time to time but you must keep this to a minimum – once or twice a week.
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Workout Partners That Push You
Having workout partners that push you in the gym helps to make the journey more enjoyable and you can keep each other accountable. In addition if you have partners that are stronger than you it can give you an extra motivation to progress. You can also learn things from them regarding training techniques and exercises. In this way you can improve and make better progress.
There is also something to be said for the strong bond that exists between close training partners in the gym. Friendships can be forged for life and this can make you happier. Good friends are very important in life and the additional happiness that they can bring you can indirectly improve your progress in the gym. Progress is always better facilitated when you are in a happier state of mind.
Importance Of Good Technique
Another point that is incredibly important is the use of good technique when executing exercises. If your technique is poor then progress is always limited as you are not able to express your strength in the optimal way. Faulty technique can also lead to an increased risk of injury. Injuries are the biggest killer of progress in the gym.
Anything you can do to avoid injury is crucial for making progress, it all starts with good technique. You can learn how to execute lifts correctly from people like Mark Rippetoe, Dave Tate, Matt Wenning, etc. Finding another person in the gym who is very experienced and is executing the lifts properly can also serve to assist you in improving and fine tuning your technique.
In a lot of gyms you will always see ego lifting with bad technique and it is completely pointless. People doing quarter reps on the squat with insane weights and half reps on the bench press are a common sight. It is always sad to see as these people are sabotaging their own progress and will never reach their potential.
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To conclude, in this article I have discussed how to progress at the gym. I will re-iterate again how important making progress is. It is fundamental to an enriched life and feelings of increased happiness and well being. No one likes to fail or think of themselves as a failure. It is very hurtful to our self esteem and can lead to a negative spiral that can take you to very bad places.
In the gym it is no different, we must set ourselves up to succeed and make progress from the outset. That involves a commitment to the cause for the long term, an understanding of good nutrition and progressive overload principles. Finally we must be willing to continue learning and improving our knowledge of exercises, seeking out the right mentors and adopting a consistent approach for the long haul. All those things are critical for seeing the success that we want.
If you have any questions about anything I have written in this article, please leave them below. Let me know about the progress that you have made in the gym – I would love to know!
As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!
2 thoughts on “How To Progress At The Gym – Full Guide”
Do you have to be dedicated to any exercise program in order to be a successful bodybuilder? How long do you have to undergo such program?
I have been and always been a fitness guy. I love to exercise regularly and have I love to lift weight but not so dedicated to being a bodybuilder. This article set some light as to bodybuilding and how to take part in it. I am sure the reason I never considered bodybuilding is that I have always go to the gym by myself. Thus, when you have someone to help motivate you, could be a good idea.
I think it’s a little too late for me to be bodybuilder. But I appreciate your sharing this information.
hi, to be a successful bodybuilder you would have to commit for the long term to a good training programme with progressive overload, good nutrition, supplementation, sleep, etc. It has to be a lifestyle and part of your identity. If there is a start date and end date then the results are only temporary. It’s never too late to pursue your goals and improve your physique and fitness!