It is nearly 6 months since the 1st ‘My Journey’ post. Within this 1st post I set some targets and this month has really got me thinking about these targets and how you can make progress.
As a teacher for the last 10 years I used to tracking student progress and setting targets. The government sets student targets that they should achieve in their GCSE’s. As teachers we break these down to smaller targets to be able to track and check progress; by the end of Year 7 a student should now be at point X, at the end of Year 8, point Y and so on until they achieve their target grade within a particular GCSE subject. However, all of this is assuming that progress is linear.
Does progress really look like this? Does every student get that target grade?
Quite simply, No!
Students move schools, might become unsettled, lose confidence, don’t build rapport with certain teachers, might have constant teacher changes, other things might start taking greater priority in their life, they might miss certain topics due to illness. I could go on. But there are also students that surpass their target grades.
How does this apply to you and your progress?
With fitness and training, just like in school, progress is not linear. It is not always going to go in a positive direction and things are going to get in the way. Only a couple of weeks ago I got to train with one of my good friends for a few sessions. Admittedly, he is usually stronger and fitter than me. He far outperformed me in the Open. But this particular week I destroyed him in every workout. Why? Work was stressing him out, he wasn’t getting good quality sleep. Life does not always go smoothly and we occasionally hit a few bumps in the road.
If I look at my progress since I started CrossFit. When I first started I could deadlift around 300lbs. I was well and truly happy with this. In fact just before I started this blog (November 2016) my 1RM PR was 335lbs. This year I achieved a 425lb 1RM and the year is not over yet. But look at my graph from Wodify, below.
It is up and down and all over the place (My 425lb PR is not included on it). There is a steady climb but there are also many dips.
Another example to further highlight this was when I taught myself how to perform a strict ring muscle up. Only 6 months ago I taught myself and after weeks of practice I was up to 6 consecutive strict ring muscle ups. 3 weeks ago, after a period of holidays, a small amount of weight gain, and a lack of training I struggled to perform just one.
What have I, and more importantly what can you learn from all of this?
- Consistency is the key. When I made progress it was because I was training well consistently with little interruption and or distraction. When students surpass their target grades it is because they are consistently in school, and focused. Getting a good night sleep consistently is going to help you stay fresh and focused. Eating the right things consistently is going to help you sustain fat loss. Being consistent in your training, turning up regularly, is going to ensure you will make progress.
2. Be prepared for bumps. Just like me, just like my students, it takes time. You wont hit that target every time, you wont PR every session. In fact there will be times when other things get in the way; kids, family, holidays, and your progress may take a dip. In fact there will be days when nothing gets in the way and your performance level inexplicably drops anyway. Don’t worry about it. Let it slide BUT make sure, as soon as you can, as quickly as possible you get back to being consistent.
I think, in a few weeks’ time when my new born baby arrives I may have to re-read this and remind myself of these points…
I am glad so many people are reading my blog. I hope you find it helpful and interesting. I would love to help as many people as possible. Therefore, if you feel this post or any of my posts can help someone you know, share it with them and or tag their name in the comments section. Thanks, Adam