“Man I’m really sore after the workout, it must have really worked!”
“I could really feel the burn’
“I must be on track to burn all the fats and build all the muscles this week!”
Are you measuring your progress in the gym by ‘How much pain you inflicted’ or by ‘How well you actually performed’?
Did you increase the weight you lifted on the bar?
Did you lift more volume than last week?
Did you even track or measure your work-out so you can compare your performance?
Or were you just hell-bent on causing as much 'pain' or 'havoc' as possible? And you considered it a great workout, as it feels like you have been hit by a bus...
and that’s how you should feel right?
Pain is not a suitable tool for measuring progress in the gym.
If you are using it to measure your progress, the chances are you won’t haven’t progressed much at all in the gym.
The Problem With Pain As A Progress Indicator
The problem with using pain as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) in the gym is that:
It’s not measurable
You can’t accurately measure pain, so it’s not fair to assess this week’s workouts were better than last weeks because you ‘felt more pain’
You can’t physically progress each week when you are still beaten up from the previous weeks destruction!
If your goal is to build muscle, burn body fat or get stronger…
You need to be making some form of progression in the gym each week. When we work-out we tear our muscle fibres and while we rest, our bodies tries to repair these fibres. If done correctly, you’ll muscles will repair and come back bigger or stronger (think of the T1000 of Terminator who always regenerates).
To encourage muscle-growth or to get stronger, we need to out-perform ourselves each week in the gym. But it’s soon to going to be hard to outperform yourself each week when you struggling to recover from your last workout. Sooner or later you will stop making progress, get continually injured and just end up going backwards.
So how do we measure performance in the gym?
Prioritise Performance Over Pain
Performance is measurable in the gym.
We can measure performance via:
Intensity: Weight on the bar
Volume: Sets x Reps completed each week
This simplifies the body composition game; all you need to do each week is lift more weight than you did last week or complete more sets/reps than last week. This will cause DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) but this doesn’t have to mean pain. To perform at your best each week, you need to turn up to the gym feeling 100% so recovery is important.
This is where ‘being sore’ or feeling pain, won’t help you. If your quads feel like jelly from last week’s 500 rep leg session, and you have to Squat today, it’s not going to be a good time.
Do enough damage in the gym to progress but nothing more is required. Get in, perform and get out - living to lift another day.
If you have hit a plateau in the gym and don’t seem to be able to lift what you use to…
We recommend prioritising ‘performance’ over ‘pain’ in the gym. Ensure you are measuring your workouts; tracking the weight on the bar the amount of sets x reps completed and aim to beat that each week instead of continually pummelling your body into submission.
If you want to take your performance to the next level and bust your training plateaus, click the button below to take action and apply for a Free Performance Starter Pack (Includes initial goal setting session, body composition assessment and 1:1 coaching session value $149).