If you go to any weightlifting-centric internet forum, be it Instagram, Reddit, or wherever, you get people debating the merits of various programs. Often espousing the efficacy by the number of high level lifters from a given team or institution. Catalyst vs Juggernaut vs Invictus.

Here’s the thing: most coaches can write a program that will get most people better. What really matters is the intention that you bring to your training.

Of course there are cases where coaches have no idea how to peak, cycle, or choose weights and rep schemes. We’re not talking about that, though.

I’m talking about people who are looking for the next, neat thing. Looking for that special sauce that is going to rocket them to the next level. And they keep looking for things external to them: the next fancy program, the newest pre-workout mix, the latest recovery aid.

Lydia focuses and visualizes before every lift.

Lydia focuses and visualizes before every lift.

Most athletes need to look inward.

How are you approaching the program you have?

After each rep, could you turn to your coach and say whether that rep or set felt better or worse than the previous?

At the end of each training session, could you write down 1-2 things you learned about yourself or your technique?

At the end of a week or a cycle, could you look back through your notes and see where you felt good, where you felt bad, and did you have ideas of what made those days better or worse?

Or is your training book just a collection of sets, reps, and weights?

Before dropping money on the next big thing being espoused across social media I want to challenge you to adopts a few practices with the program you have:

  1. After each set, say out loud one thing that you did well or one thing you could do better on the next set.

  2. At the end of each session, write 1-2 sentences of things you learned. They could be technical, emotional, or generally about your training.

Over time, you want to be able to be so fully present and intentional in your training that these processes are automatic, a constantly running analysis going through your head through your training.