Recently I've been pushing past some personal bests in my own weightlifting training and have been getting some questions about how and what I've been doing. You will be surprised to learn it is really just basic stuff - nothing fancy or special.
- Get a coach! Find a coach you trust and are excited to work with. In the past four years I've coached well over 100 athletes but that does not make me a good coach for myself. When you coach yourself there will always be the issue of favoring your strengths and not working weaknesses (to some extent). I personally tend to push the intensities/percentages to high to often.
- Dial in your nutrition and bodyweight! A lot of people do a ton of recovery work (foam rolling, stretching, massage, other soft-tissue) this all has it's place but if your body has the proper nutrition it will be able to heal itself more effectively. Before I dialed in my diet with the help of a Nutrition Coach, I would get soft tissue work twice per month. Now I get soft tissue work done, maybe every other month. Another issue is being at the appropriate bodyweight - I moved my bodyweight up about 3-4kg and this has contributed to me feeling much better!
- Sleep! This is when your body heals! Getting enough sleep should be your primary means of recovery. Since becoming more serious in my training I've been consistently getting 6-8 hours of sleep at night and taking a short nap on most days. More sleep should means decreased muscle soreness, less injuries, and more PRs!
- Reduce Stress! Stress decreases your ability to recover. You need to find methods to decrease stress to achieve high performance. One thing I always tell myself is "If you can't control don't worry about it - if you can control it do something about it"
- Train with Purpose and Intent! Study your daily workout before going in. At least a couple time before I will review the workout, the weights, think about lessons learned from similar days, think about cues I will be working on, think about goals for technique or weights. From warmup to the heaviest sets take everything seriously. The warmup sets create the tone for the day and build your technique, movement patterns, and confidence for the heavier sets. If you are in tune with your warmup sets and your body after the first 2-3 warmup sets I can tell if my body is capable of 95%+ on that given day.