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Over the past few months, I have taken the time to study what I believe to be a few of the most valuable aspects of training and becoming a complete individual inside of the gym. Here are 5 priorities I believe everyone should have every time they step foot through the doors.
Treat the light weights like they’re heavy and the heavy weights like they’re light: I see many people getting under an empty bar and just moving it meaninglessly. There’s no focus on technique or intent until the amount of weight gets heavy enough where it forces you to focus. Now you’ve missed out on many repetitions that you could have used to perfect the movement. Just like a basketball player shooting a free-throw. Shooting a free throw isn’t hard for a professional, but if they only waited until they were under pressure to treat it with purpose, then they would never master the trade. So, when the weight is light, treat it as you would with a max lift, and when the weight is heavy, be just as confident as you would be when it’s light.
Have purpose with all exercises: This one goes along with #1. After the heavy work is finished, it becomes easy to go through the motions with the rest of the session. Remember that the main exercise is roughly only 25% of the entire session. The exercises that follow are just as important, and need to be treated as such. Regardless of whether it is dumbbells, cables, machines, or bodyweight movements, make sure you’re focusing on full range of motion, full muscle activation, and intent with each rep and set. Those who consistently achieve their goals always make this a priority.
Train hard & time your rest periods: Training has become very social. This is good in the sense that it has gotten more people involved and has built relationships within the training environment. However, if you aren’t careful, this can cause your training session to get away from you very quickly. The cure is to time your rest periods. If you train alone, use a stop watch or the timer on your phone to stay consistent and focused between sets. If you are training with others, make sure that you have the discussion before your session that you are going to keep the pace high with a quick transition between sets. This will absolutely improve your overall progress.
Be involved with those training around you: I’ve been to many gyms over the years. One thing I often find are people who are completely oblivious to others around them. What makes Union Fitness special is the culture and community that has been built. When you walk through the doors, there is always someone that is looking to help with anything. At the same time, there is always someone who could use a hand, even when nothing is said. My suggestion is to acknowledge those training around you. By no means do you need to be best friends. However, when you see someone accomplish a good set or a PR, congratulate them. If you see someone struggling, help them. This will ultimately build a culture that everyone wants to be a part of and can benefit from.
Be the standard: One of the best lessons that my father taught me was that if I choose to do something, do it right. This means that everything you choose to do should be with full effort and maximum dedication. From your career, to your relationship, to your workouts, to how you carry yourself as a human being. When you are in the gym training, be everything that you believe everyone should be. Even if you don’t think others are holding up their end of the bargain, continue to be the standard that you believe there should be, and carry yourself with it every day. This means helping others and being kind, picking up after yourself when you’re finished with your session, and training hard and being dedicated every time you walk through the doors, just to name a few.
Apply these 5 priorities to your training and I guarantee you will find yourself becoming a more complete and well rounded individual.