1) You think that the best way to improve your performance is to train harder.
2) You don’t believe in training smart, but rather in training hard.
3) Your goal is not to become stronger, but simply to get bigger or faster than other people.
4) You do not have any goals beyond the next competition.
(You are only interested in getting stronger. )
5) You are afraid of failure.
The first mistake is easy to make when you start training for the first time. But it’s even easier if you’ve been doing it all along!
If you want to become a better lifter, then you need to stop thinking like this and learn how to train smarter instead. Training hard will never lead to success; the only thing that does is get injured and quit before reaching your potential.
What happens after that?
You’re still just as weak as when you started.
And what happens afterwards?
You’re no longer competing at the level you were supposed to be able to compete at.
So why bother with all this effort? Why not just focus on being strong and having fun while doing so?
If you really want to improve, then you need to stop thinking like this and start training smarter. Here are some tips:
Don’t train too heavy. This may cause you to lose your strength endurance and slow down your ability to recover for your next training session.
Don’t train too hard. If you feel like your knees are about to explode during squats or your shoulders feel like they’re being stabbed with knitting needles during bench presses, then you know you’re in trouble.
You’re not even supposed to be able to feel these body parts in these instances!
Don’t train too often. Take at least one day off in between strength training sessions.
The days where you’re supposed to do explosive or endurance training should be counted separately anyway.
Strengthen your stabilizer muscles, and do some extra exercises for them. This will allow you to support more of your body weight when lifting and will enable you to lift more in the first place.
Train the antagonist muscles in addition to your usual muscle groups. Some people just train the muscles they can see in the mirror.
This is a mistake because it doesn’t do anything for the muscles that work to keep the others stabilized.
Add some plyometrics and other explosive exercises to your training routine. This will increase your strength endurance and allow you to lift heavier weights for longer periods of time before getting tired.
Get more than eight hours of sleep every night. Your central nervous system needs time to recover from all the training you put it through.
Eat enough protein every day. Your muscles are made of protein (mostly).
If you don’t give your body enough of what it needs to build more muscle, it will have no choice but to break down the muscle you already have for the raw materials it requires.
Eat carbohydrates and fats with every meal. The energy these provide is necessary to sustain your training and your active lifestyle in general.
Get your daily vitamins. Eat a variety of healthy foods.
Your goal should be to furnish your body with all the nutrients it requires for optimum health and well-being. This will pay off in the long run.
Eat immediately after training. Your body is begging for nutrients at this time, so if you don’t give it what it needs, it may very well take what it requires from where it doesn’t belong.
Incorporate stretching into your daily routine. Stretching loosens up your muscles and makes you less prone to pulling a muscle or otherwise injuring yourself.
It also keeps you flexible and helps you achieve greater gains in flexibility.
Incorporate static holds into your routine. This is basically the opposite of stretching, but it serves a similar purpose of increasing flexibility.
It can also make you more aware of proper form and help prevent injury.
Strengthen your core. Your core muscles are vital for supporting the rest of your body.
Weak core muscles can lead to lots of problems down the road. Some good exercises for this purpose are situps, side bends, and leg raises.
Cool down after training. This means light exercising or just simple stretching.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s something that gets your blood flowing gradually. This will help your muscles recover from their recent abuse and prepare them for future training sessions.
By the gods, I’m tired just thinking about all that! Maybe I’ll just go to sleep and do this all later…
You acquire a skill, Steadfast Willpower!
As you rest in your bed, your thoughts drift over past events. You cannot believe you have survived this far.
You wonder about surviving the war and winning it as well. Maybe then you can relax a little. That thought is quickly replaced with the knowledge that when you win this war, there will be another one waiting for you. Perhaps that one will be easier, perhaps not. Either way, you’ll face it when the time comes. For now, you rest.
Continue to The Culmination?
Sources & references used in this article:
Strength training for young athletes by WJ Kraemer, SJ Fleck – 2005 – books.google.com
Whoever makes the most mistakes wins by R Farson, R Keyes – 2003 – books.google.com
Sports and male domination: The female athlete as contested ideological terrain by MA Messner – Sociology of sport journal, 1988 – journals.humankinetics.com
Mistakes worth making: How to turn sports errors into athletic excellence by S Halden-Brown – 2003 – books.google.com