“I am not making any progress, I work out every day and eat well I don’t understand what is going on,” “I must have a bad thyroid, yes; that is it! That’s why I haven’t made much progress.” Have you ever made a statement like that? Or if you are a fitness trainer, have you ever heard that? (My money is on yes, you have!) There are many reasons why people never get to their goals as you may know. It can be a poor diet, lack of consistent training, poor instruction and so on. However, I want to propose a possible solution that you may not have thought of!

As you may know and if you have read any of my former posts, I often write about the need for a balanced approach to training. (As with anything) If you work too hard too soon, you will make progress. However, many things can go wrong with that approach and it will eventually lead to failure. In addition to that fact, we can also under train and that will also lead to the frustration that I mentioned in this post’s first paragraph, That is what today’s post is about how to find that balance to continually make progress in your fitness goals. Read on to find out how to:

How to be challenged but Successful!

The first thing that you need to understand is that training is a process. You start at whatever level you are at and begin to move to your goal(s). Then as you train, you start to build up from there in what should be a progressive manner. As you do you will find a transformation and if you are training properly you will end up achieving many personal records as you work on your goals. You also may discover that your goals need to change and might re-adjust them frequently. The continuance of your success in this process of development depends upon your willingness to continue to get better and to do what it takes to continue to improve.

Which brings me to my next point: the “granddaddy” laws of fitness (if you would) require us to overload our systems in order to produce results. This is often why people start off so well and then as time goes along either regress or just stagnate. This is usually due to a misunderstanding of how to train the body as well as being stuck in a mindless routine. (I have never seen this work as a coach and trainer.) However, what does always work is a deliberate overload (as much as it sucks) to the body. In other words, you have to do a bit more than you did on that move on the previous session. This can be done by doing one or two more reps, or by adding on more weight, shortening the rest period in between sets and so-on. But an overload must be present to get to the next level in your fitness.

As always there is a balance in this approach because if we tip the scales in the other direction, we will also end up not making the progress that we need to make. In fact, just the other day I was speaking to a student and they said that: they felt a move in the wrong muscle group as they trained it. As I discussed further with them to help them solve their problem, I realized they were just doing too many reps on the move and their movement integrity went out the window. So I advised them to do fewer reps and to make what they are already doing stronger and better. Now they are no longer experiencing the pain that they were feeling!

You see this person realized that they needed to be challenged but didn’t apply and acknowledge the success part. You see what they were doing wasn’t only bad for their health. It also was dooming them to never get into the “higher level” and do the more advanced moves due to the bad habits they were creating as they worked out. I can also only imagine what it did to their daily movement and quality of life outside of the gym. As well the problems training as such may cause in the future.


As you read this post you may be saying a resounding “amen” to its content. Or you might be thinking “this guy has no idea what he is talking about” and that is fine if you do, I will still like you! However, I want you to realize that this post is written on scientific principles and practical experience. So it is your choice whether or not you will follow them. Just be aware that if you choose not to as I did for years, you probably will end up regretting it. Or you can choose to under-train and not make very much progress and blame your circumstances and other things that are out of your control. Once again it is on you; I hope that you will choose a balanced approach to keep on making progress as you train throughout your life!

  1. […] How to Be challenged but successful September 18, 2014 […]


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