Train with Intent

If you’ve been training for years, you’ve likely encountered stagnation. This is, unfortunately, a common part of training. While once it seemed like you hit a PR every time you walked into the gym, they are now fewer and farther between. But fear not! You have graduated from newbie gains into the world of regular training. Welcome!

I equate regular training to the boiling of water. When water first hits 212° F, the boiling point, it does not begin boiling instantly. It takes time, energy stores in the water, AND THEN it starts to boil. Training is the same way. It takes continued effort, and while you may not see the immediate result, progress will occur again – your gains are building under the surface.

This can be difficult to accept. Because we don’t see the changes, we assume they aren’t happening. As a result, we’re tempted to do one of two things:

  1. Hop into a new program that promises faster results.
  2. Do more work and try to increase total training volume.

Both approaches are problematic. Program hopping is a great way to stagnate further. Essentially, you’re starting over again, negating all the work you’ve put in up to this point. It’s like turning the stove off when you’re trying to boil water, only to move the pot to a different burner, and then turn that one on.

Trying to increase volume is a great way to overload yourself and cause injury. As we progress in our training, it is really only the top few sets that lead to continued progress. We can achieve more with less, provided we train with INTENT.


What does this mean? It means that when we’re supposed to be training heavy, we need to actually go heavy. When we’re doing speed reps, we can’t move the lighter weight haphazardly because it feels easy. We need to actually move with SPEED. Training with intent means that we cannot just go through the motions. We all have days where we don’t feel like moving. Yes, something is better than nothing. This will help with maintenance. But for progress, we need to adhere to the intended stimulus of our training.

Listen to your coaches. If we want you to push hard enough that the wheels come off, it’s for good reason. We know that doing this day after day leads to burnout. That’s why our programs are designed with some days that are lower intensity than others. If we want you to move at a conversational pace, it’s because we’re trying to accumulate volume in that intensity range.

What’s the moral of the story here? Stagnation is going to happen, and the best way through it is FORWARD. Talk to your coaches, and stick to the program. Most importantly, train with intent. Go hard when you’re supposed to go hard, back off when you’re supposed to, and avoid going through the motions as much as you can. The occasional off day is normal, but it needs to remain occasional. Some days are going to be hard. That’s part of the process too. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. When you’re in the gym, focus on what you need to do, and move with purpose. We’ll see you there.

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