Max Dallman, USA-W Level 1 Sports Performance Coach
I’ve been training an athlete for a while (we will call him Larry to protect the innocent) who loves to set world records. Well, they may “only” be personal records for him, but he calls them “Larry world records. I love that attitude! Setting records during your training sessions is very motivating. To most, it means you’ve accomplished something that you’ve never done before, and that’s a great way to keep you going with your training. This provides you with faith in the process, and the power of that should not be overlooked. Let’s look at what it means to set a record.
To me, setting a record just means you got better in some capacity for a particular activity. And, I’m not talking about maxing out on a lift in every training session. That’s a quick path to injury, overtraining, and/or simply taking a couple weeks to recover. If you happen to be going for a record in the deadlift, you should do some specific warm up sets, go for a record that is five or ten pounds above your best, and then move on. Not only will this set you up to accomplish more record lifts in the future, but your recovery time will be much shorter. Also, records don’t only come in the form of more weight lifted. It’s possible to set a record by lifting the same weight for another rep, doing another set at the same weight, taking less time to rest in between sets, doing another variation, and so on.
There is no reason to be perfect, and I’m not saying you should hit a record every time you train. However, you may try to be better in some specific way each time you are at the gym. All the “little” records add up over time, getting you closer to your goals! Are you keeping track of your training accomplishments? No? Well, using a training log to remember what you’ve done before is very important to seeing and making progress. If you don’t track, you won’t know what you need to do to get better.
So, the next time you come in to the gym, briefly review everything you are about to do in the next hour. Pick out just one thing you want to do better in that training session. Once you determine that specific goal, attack it like Larry does, and set yourself a new PERSONAL world record.