No muscle gains? No fat loss? Answer these questions to make sure you have the basics covered.
Relentless Application of the Basics
Success in training is about relentless application of the basics. Before you look for a complex solution to your training frustrations, honestly reflect on the following questions:
- Do I have a clearly defined goal?
- Is my training truly focused on that goal or am I distracting myself with cool but non-essential exercises or techniques?
- Do I have unrealistic expectations? (Am I trying to be ripped by Tuesday? Am I expecting to gain 40 pounds of muscle in a month?)
- Am I doing the big, hard, uncomfortable, result-producing exercises?
- Am I keeping a training journal?
- Am I getting better at these exercises by regularly adding weight?
- Am I training consistently?
- Am I following a program for an appropriate amount of time or am I guilty of program-hopping?
- Am I consistently monitoring goal-relevant assessments (e.g. measurements)?
Answer these questions:
- Is my nutrition on track? Am I keeping a food log?
- Am I consistently using the right supplements for my goals?
- Do I get enough sleep?
- Am I getting sufficient rest? (Is that two-hour post-training game of pick-up basketball killing my muscle gains?)
- Am I managing my stress effectively and proactively avoiding unnecessary stress?
You've heard this stuff before, but are you consistently doing it? Print off this list and put a check beside each item that might need some improvement. Then, actively address the checks. Many people mistakenly look for a programming solution when they aren't practicing basic training, nutrition, or lifestyle habits.