I have been pretty absent from this blog for a few months now, do apologise but rest assured I have not been idol.
Today's post is about Progress.
I'm a firm believer that people should always aim for progression in their lives, especially when it comes to exercise. Too often people drift through session or training plans with no real focus, not keeping record of how they are performing. If you don't know how you are performing, if you don't get any sort of feedback on what all your effort and hard work is going towards then it is easy to lose motivation and eventually give up.
Your measure of progress can be just about anything that is related to your goals.
Want to get stronger? Ok, pick a few movements that test strength, see how you do for a set number of reps and then write it down. Test again every month and see how you're going.
Want to look better? Ok, take some picture of yourself in your swimwear, then take the pictures again every week or two.
Want to be fitter? Ok, pick a workout that can be easily measured, test yourself and then re-test every few weeks.
It isn't hard to do, but it is amazing how many people don't do it.
I genuinely believe that there are two big reasons people don't measure their progress when it comes to exercise. Firstly because they know it will make them accountable, they will have a pressure to perform better and to beat their current bests.
Secondly, because they are afraid to fail. They are afraid that they might not make progress.
DON'T BE AFRAID!
You can't be afraid to try, failure might happen but as long as you don't give up then you haven't really failed, you've just found out what doesn't work and you can reset yourself to try again with a different tactic.
Effort never leads to failure, even if you don't achieve the goal you were aiming for you will have bettered yourself in some way.
So, speaking of progress.
A few post back I talked about Gymnastic Strength training and I posted a video of myself doing some exercises. If you missed it, that post can be found here.
I promised that I would update you guys and let you know how I was getting on. Well, it has been 6 months, I have only been able to practice these exercises once a week, but I've tried to stay diligent with them and I'm happy to say that I've made progress.
In pretty much each exercise I am now either holding the positions for longer or using a more challenging variation.
Here is a video of my latest gymnastic strength training session
There are a couple of exercises from the first video that aren't on this one.
I still work with them (I just didn't do them in this session) and they are still progressing too.
I hope this video provides a bit of inspiration. It has taken me 6 months to make this progress, it isn't massive but it is well earned and considering I was only practising them once a week I don't think it's too bad.
I have't put this video up to show off or boast but to show what regular training with a focus on progression can achieve. While I was in the park practising pistols one day a man passed me and said something along the lines of:
"They look very hard, I couldn't do them"
My response was:
"They look tough but it's the same as anything, you start off simple and build up. You just happen to be seeing me after a lot of practice. You haven't seen when I first started and kept falling on my arse."
Achieving progress can feel like a scary and long journey but remember, the time is going to pass anyway, why not be bettering yourself while it does! Never give up on trying to progress!
I want to leave you with two quotes;
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything" - George Bernard Shaw
"If there is no struggle, there is no progress" - Frederick Douglas
Change your mind, set yourself to progress and watch your life change for the better.
Good luck in your training, whatever it might be.
Train hard, live happy