In a world of promises about the latest nutrition, the best preworkout and the newest program, its often good to zoom out and view the basics.
We say it all the time, strength is a marathon not a sprint. The person that shows up the longest generally wins. If you do all 7 of the below – nothing will change overnight – but you will be a better lifter at the end of the year.
Tip 1: Set objective measures – in all three lifts
Technical mastery is feasibly the easiest pathway to strength, but beyond the beginner stage – very few of us spend time working being technically better.
You can use your own film, or a coach (not a mirror) but the idea is to get feedback multiple times this year on your form.
Personally – the year I decided to stop my forward lean in squats – by doing all of my warmups no more than two inches from the rack was the most annoying period of squatting – but also my highest improvement since the beginner years (I put 20kg on my squat that year).
The most common issues for you to review are leaning forward in your squat, bar moving away from your legs in a deadlift and shoulders losing tightness at the bottom of the bench.
Literally write down what you are going to do better – then check in multiple time in 2021.
Tip 2: Allocate a period of time for a calorie deficit.
Dieting all year is annoying and largely results in bouncing back from sadness.
Its easier to pick two months of the year when you don’t have birthdays of big events. We use March and August.
Nothing fancy – for at least those two months – drop cals. If you want to lose weight this year, one month deficit one month maintenance is far more reasonable for a long term solution.
Tip 3: Work up to 40 bodyweight squats over a year as a warmup
We did this last year – and really thought it was going to be easy. 40 BW squat is hard if you weigh like a powerlifter.
We started at 20, added 5 a month. When we got to 40, went to two sets of 25 the next month. This is such a good simple tip – 40BW squats is enough to work out most of the kinks and feel like a human when you squat.
Tip 4: Do scap work
Scap chin ups will make you better and all three lifts – add little fatigue and make your shoulders feel better.
Everyone should to scap chin ups.
Tip 5: Compete
Do well, do bad, be nervous, overthink it – but just experience it. Novice comps are fun, challenging and keep you honest. You will never regret it.
Tip 6: Teach someone the big three – Squat, Bench and Dead
You will be surprised how much you learn, and it's fun to grow the sport.
Tip 7: Learn how to train unstimulated
Easily of the hardest things to do – is to personally normalise a state of ‘not amped out of your head’.
You can train feeling a little tired – you will be fine after your warmups – or worse case – a little tired.
You do not need caffeine for every workout. You do not need to be stimulated through the roof. You need to be dedicated to a task, and you need to show up and do the work.
Many of us that have been lifting for years got stuck on the preworkout train – and it feels so odd not to be buzzing when you walk into the gym. Sadly – you can only be on this train for so long before you are doubling and tripling scoops and it still does nothing.
That’s it, 7 easy things you can do, that have a accumulation of a better 2021, and also set up future years.