There can be a huge difference with gains when you can accurately gauge your effort level. With all the humans I have worked with over the years, there’s rarely been a time where I have had to say: take the weight down. What I have seen is clients who increase their deadlift by 20KG in a week because they hadn’t been working at their full potential. It’s not so much there isn’t a willingness to try, but more they frankly didn’t know they had it in them.
First, if you’re unsure of what your intensity spectrum feels like and you're not tracking your workouts, aren’t you curious about what you truly can do? Are you familiar with what it feeeeeels like to be close to failure? Often it can feel like you’re working really hard but that might be more aerobic than strength. Here’s a quick test you can do to see what it feels like to go to failure: 1. Choose a pair of DBs at a challenging weight. 2. Do alternating reverse lunges and stop where you think you would have only 4 reps left in the tank on each side. 3. Rest 2-4 minutes 4. Repeat the exercise but go until failure whereby you can’t do anymore.
If you did 10 reps on ea side for the first round, then 20 reps on the second, the weight needs to go up! Second, TRACK YOUR WORKOUTS! There can be a huge difference when it comes to the bigger picture of your progress between doing so or not. When you have context for progress or lack there of then you can make changes. Seeing your effort level and how that is transcribing to weights and reps can be the difference in your overall progress. Track your weights, reps, exercise progressions, how things felt. Basically, pay attention. I give gentle nudges to my clients to up the weight often because I know they’re shortchanging themselves. This is also why we do testing throughout their training so there’s data to see progress as well as having a baseline for what that upper threshold feeling is like.
Are you curious about what would happen if you WERE working at your full potential? I sure as hell am.
To learn about what you are truly capable of, to stop second guessing yourself, feel like an athlete in the gym but participate in life outside of the gym, go here to get on the waitlist for The Bold Collective. You can learn more about it here.