We train and put tremendous effort to make the smallest gains possible. There definitely exists certain factors and conditions that will give you the gains you are looking for. Below I want to highlight those conditions so that you continually make gains:
- Cycle your training program
- Compete frequently
- Surround yourself in a competitive environment
Cycle your Training Program
If you continually train with the same program for an extended period of time you will get to a plateau and will experience diminishing returns. The point of training is to create a stimulus that elicits a favorable adaptation. Stick to a training plan that leads up to a competition or event where you will test your strength.
Plan your training from 6 to 8 weeks. In your training yearly program include different phases:
- high volume phase
- strength phase
- competition phase
- deload phase
High Volume Phase: this phase uses lighter percentage weights where we are looking for high reps and volume. The volume creates stronger connective tissue, strength endurance, and fatigue resistance and some hypertrophy.
Strength Phase: this phase has higher percentages but minimal reps and sets. We want to increase strength on our lifts in order to use this strength at a later phase.
Competition Phase: this is the time to test your strength and create the best preparation for an upcoming competition. 95% to 100% effort on your competition lifts is demanded. Volume is extremely minimal. This phase is between 2 to 4 weeks.
Deload Phase: lower volume, lower percentages are required in this phase to allow for some much needed rest and recovery.
The purpose of competing frequently is to gain experience and to display what you have trained for. More importantly, when you have a competition approaching it makes every single training session matter because you want to do your absolute best at the competition. When you know that you are competing soon your intensity, drive, and energy intensifies. It’s important to compete frequently but keep in mind that you can only peak for your absolute highest performance for a few competitions. Maybe only one competition. It’s recommended to do local meets for practice and experience. At the local meets keep your attempts lighter. Go 100% for your big meets.
Surround Yourself in a Competitive Environment
Environment is essential to maximize gains. While socializing is great keep it at a minimum. There is a time and place to socialize. When someone in training is going hard and aren’t wasting time it’s inspiring and makes you want to train harder. There is a reason why professional Weightlifting teams have training camps in order to minimize distractions to maximize effort.
And that is what a competitive training environment is all about: minimizing distractions to maximize efforts.
Follow these simple guidelines to continually make gains. Weightlifting gains don’t come that often but maximizing these factors and conditions will pave the way for maximal performance and perhaps new P.R.’s
Stronger is Better