How to Make Consistent Progress in Your Fitness Program: The Power of Review and Reflection

All Gain Principle #6: Measure and Manage Progress

Making consistent progress in your fitness program is always a challenge.

I think the emphasis tends to be placed too heavily on the exercise program itself. As I repeatedly state in ALL GAIN, NO PAIN, intensity is easy. Because it’s easier at first to work a little harder the exercise portion seems to take priority over all other aspect and skews the perspective of what actually helps determine progress, and therefore, change.

Don’t misunderstand me. The exercise program IS important, but the keys to progress are knowing where you are in the process. Making comparisons from workout to workout and week to week let you know when you’re on track and when you need to make changes to stay or get back on track. No program is ever perfect.

Much like a sailboat tacking in the wind, there are consistent course corrections that need to be made to reach the intended destination.

Information, such as your Key Performance Indicators (See Chapter 20 of ALL GAIN, NO PAIN), need to be interpreted and compared, so effective, objective decisions can be made without the influence of emotions getting in the way.

I typically use the same series of questions that I got from my friend Andrew Paul, athletic performance coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to help guide my thinking and program adjustment.

What does this confirm that I am already doing very well?

What are things that I am beginning to do and I should double down on based on this information?

What has been an emerging thought with me that I haven’t put into practice yet and based on this information I need to investigate further?

What am I not doing?

What are the things presented that haven’t been on my radar?

These questions provide me with concrete course corrections and what endurance coach Steve Magness calls the “next logical step.”

All too often, we make the mistake of doing what our emotions drive us toward or what we want to be doing instead of what we should be doing.

I think it’s virtually impossible to be objective with ourselves, that’s where coaches are essential. In many cases, we must be out own coach and make an effort to see what is truly before us.

Answer these questions honestly. Track your progress objectively. Take the next logical step.

Your comeback starts today.

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