Form and Consistency
In previous videos we’ve talked how to program, the variables used to manage your training, and we’ll cover some examples of how you can structure your training in future videos. These are all important things to understand and apply rationally, but it can be tempting to get lost in the theory of programming and lose sight of the big picture.
Yes, your program is important but without consistently training with good form, your program won’t matter. Time and again, progress stalls because a trainee either won’t stick to their plan or fails to maintain good movement standards as the training becomes more difficult. So let’s talk about the more important elements of training:
Number 1: Consistency
Your success over the course of your training career will first and foremost be dependent on whether you show up and do the work. I get it. You’re busy, you have a life, kids, work, illness, injuries, bills, and social engagements. Those are all important and require your time. They will all influence your ability to adhere to a program or, in some cases, your ability to train at all. For you to make long term progress in the gym, though, you must find a way to prioritize training in your life. Without putting in the work, you won’t make progress no matter how well you design your program.
Number 2: Form
Performing the lifts correctly is essential to long term success. Form creep happens to even the best lifters and feedback from a qualified coach is critical to ensuring that the highest performance standards are maintained. A lifter that sacrifices form to put more weight on the bar won’t be able to develop strength adaptations effectively and may risk injury that then prevents the lifter from consistently training.
So how do you be more consistent and maintain nearly perfect form? There’s no easy answer. You must make the simple, hard, and effective choice to prioritize training in your life. Choosing the right program is often a trade off between the optimal solution and the one that you will actually do. Be realistic about the time and frequency that you can consistently allocate to training before you make your plan. Block off time in your calendar for your training and commit. Don’t let training be a choice to make each day; build it into your routine. Some find it easier to train at home, others seek a community of like minded to surround themselves so they have a sense of accountability.
Perhaps the best option is to get a coach. We often see clients struggle to make progress on their own only to unlock new levels of performance with the help of a coach. Some of it is the programming, but the vast majority of the progress comes from a sense of accountability to comply and constant feedback on the performance of the lifts. A coach will save you countless hours of frustration and wasted time – they’ve seen the sticking points that you will encounter and will be able to provide a more objective perspective on the best path forward. A good coach will be able to support and push you at the right times. So before diving down the rabbit hole of programming theory or jumping from template to template to template. Consider seeking out a coach first.