Surefire Ways to Improve Your Performance in the Gym
For the longest time, I was the guy who was consistent with showing up at the gym but never had the results to prove it. My results were either non-existent or slow at best. Initially, I thought this was normal, but soon I realized I was making huge mistakes throughout my training career when my friends who started working out way later than I did start to exceed my progress.
After changing the way I did things, my gains came in quickly and my peers started to acknowledge my progress. If you’re in the same spot as I was, don’t worry. There’s nothing inherently wrong with you.
In this article, I’ll share some of my biggest secrets to how I managed to improve my performance in the gym, so you can finally get back on track too!
A lot of people make the mistake of not tracking their progress. Whether it’s how many reps you managed to pull off in today’s squat session or just timing your rest periods, every number counts!
If you’re serious about making serious progress, you need to be better than you were the week before. This could be in the form of executing one more rep, taking 10 seconds of your rest, or running an extra 200 meters.
But you’re not going to know your goals if you can’t even remember what your numbers were last week!
I prefer using the handy-dandy notes app on my iPhone. To accurately monitor my rest, I use my everyday smartwatch. If you’re doing Crossfit, there are fitness watches for Crossfit that are extremely durable.
Focus on Compound Movements
Half of my workouts used to be full of isolation movements. These are single-jointed exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and leg curls. While they do work, you’re not getting the best results for your time.
To get some real strength gains, you need to focus on compound movements like deadlifts, squats, bench press, rows, and shoulder presses. Your body acts as a functional unit in these movements and you recruit more muscle fibers relative to the time you spend. When you’re doing high-intensity rows, your biceps and forearms are going to be fried just as they would with hammer curls.
While isolation exercises are great, I find great results in saving them towards the end of my workouts just as finishers. But that doesn’t mean I hold back on intensity, though! Now, almost 85% of my workouts are compound movements and I haven’t looked back since.
Find a Workout Buddy
From my experience, this has to be the biggest contributor to my recent gains in the gym. Now, you don’t need to have a workout buddy each time you go. We all have our own lives to deal with so it’s unlikely you can find someone that has the exact gym schedule as you do.
But if you can make it a point to work out with them once or twice a week, that’s good enough! Look for someone who’s already better than you are. You will always have a goal to chase this way, and having someone you barely know screaming into your face sure is motivating in my opinion.
Having a workout buddy made me realize that I always gave up way too soon. They pushed me into going for that one extra rep or run the extra mile. This opened my eyes to the actual potential I had and I’ve always worked harder than the last time after that. With the right diet and adequate sleep, the gains followed suit!