Squats. Singles at 90%.
When I first started working with my current coach, I really didn’t care for squatting days much because I was so bad at it (although I didn’t realize it at the time), and I would try and hurry through them by doing as little warm up sets as possible. Now I actually have really come to enjoy these squatting days and doing all of the warm up sets. I wish I would have done that sooner, spent extra time with the lighter weights and focusing on getting quality reps in. Strength is a skill, and like any skill, it takes time to develop it, often years. Everyone enjoys those newbie gains where PR's occur almost every time you touch the bar. It is after that where the dedicated practice comes in, the process.
A coach can program for weaknesses but you have to be willing work on the weakness yourself by doing the extra work, spending the extra time to do work at the light weights accumulating quality reps before you tackle the heavier weights.
Does your coach actually care about improving your weak areas? Do they make sure that you understand the program that they wrote for you? Did they even write you a program? And if all of these things are a yes, what about the effort that you are putting in. A friend just passed along this quote:
"You don't rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your preparation." James Clear
I'd like to squat 100kg. I won't get there by seeing how fast I can throw weight on the bar. I will get there by preparing my body with proper movement patterns and developing strength in the proper positions. It is through the work of aligning these pieces that I will develop the overall strength to move the weight. But it will take time. It will be a process. And the process of learning to be stronger is my actual goal.
Yesterday was an exercise in frustration. I was not moving as well as I had been, or wanted to be, lacking good leg drive and aggression with the lifts. I could blame it on any number of things, a bad night of sleep, pain in my left leg creeping back in, dealing with some personal issues, being distracted by my phone, not eating anything before I trained, a cold coming on. Or whatever.
But of those, how many are under my control? Pretty much all of them. Lesson learned. It’s my responsibility to stay on top of things that I can have a direct impact on before they have an impact on me.
How much are you will to let other things be the driving factor for your performance? How much control are you willing to give to them? And how many excuses do you need to feel better about why you had a bad session?
Take a bad night of sleep for an easy example. Why did you really have a bad night? Sure, random stuff happens that can interfere with your sleep. Maybe the neighbor’s car alarm goes off at 2am waking from your peaceful slumber. I’m not talking about random occurrences such as that. I’m referring to things you can control, such as what time you went to bed or your sleep routine before going to bed. Do you repeated stay up too late watching TV? Let’s be real here, how many of us actually watch something that isn’t recorded and could just be finished later?
And what about minor aches and pains and injuries for another example. How much of that really is in your control? A lot to be quite honest. And this is one that I am certainly guilty of. I my previous tendency was to wait and "see if it gets better". Well sometimes this works but more often than not, it usually got worse. And it got worse because I didn't address the root issue of why I was having the issue or the cause of the injury and then once it happened, I didn't take the appropriate steps to take care of it. Now that I have had to deal with the result of my stubbornness and the delays in progress that resulted from it, I now am more proactive about getting on top of those small issues immediately, before they become large performance affecting ones.
Don’t get me wrong, even if we did everything perfect, it is not going to guarantee that every time we walk in the gym, training session will be perfect too. We are human after all and we are affected by the things around us. Even our training sessions create stimulus our bodies have to adapt to (and sleep is key to recovering from said training sessions those). What I am talking about are those things that you can take control over. In order to have a good training session, or workout, or however you want to refer to it, it is your job to set yourself up for it, and that means making sure all of your bases are covered.
Stop tossing out reasons as if they are just random things that happened beyond your control. If you are serious about your performance, and your results, take a serious look at what you are doing outside of the gym to contribute, or detract, to it.