Strength training is for everyone! Regardless of your age, gender, bodyweight, injury history, we can all benefit from strength training to live a healthier lifestyle. That said, we don’t all start at the same point in terms of the ability to gain strength and muscle over time. As former US President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Whilst I think this quote applies to all facets of life, it is particularly relevant when it comes to strength sports. When deciding to take on the challenge of becoming the strongest version of yourself, it is imperative that you focus on your own progression and apply your efforts towards the elements that you can control. Maintaining focus on the following 6 areas will give you the best chance of becoming the strongest lifter you can be.
- Follow a structured, well-designed program.
A well-designed strength program will include progressive overload. It will also have auto-regulation built into to it. A well-designed program aims to provide enough of a stimulus in terms of volume and intensity to create strength adaption whilst avoiding excessive fatigue. If you are unsure of where to start, check out our online programming services to find the right fit for you.
- Be consistent.
Consistency is vital for strength training as you must have regular and planned exposure to a stimulus to adapt to it. Being consistent with training times, sleep and nutrition allows for more predictable results and enhances your coach’s ability to plan progression in the program. Strength training can be a part of your life for the rest of your life, and consistency also refers to the conscious effort to maintain a scheduled 3-5 days per week of training year-round.
- Pay attention to your nutrition.
When goal-setting in strength sports, it is important that your nutrition habits align with the desired goal. Eating to support your strength training helps with muscle growth & repair, energy & endurance, body composition and injury prevention & recovery.
- Pay attention to your sleep.
Aiming to sleep 6-8 hours consistently (8+ is optimal) is critical for many reasons including muscle recovery, hormone regulation, energy restoration and mental focus.
- Video key lifts.
Whether you make the smart choice to go with a coach or decide to explore your strength journey alone, recording your lifts for both your coach and you as a lifter can be vital to establish correct technique and ensure that technique is safe, meets competition standards (if applicable) and is repeatable. Having video footage of progression over time can also be rewarding when looking back and observing how far you have come.
- Be patient.