How hard do you train?
Do you train up to the point of your own individual maximal recoverable volume (or as close as educated approximations will allow)?
Okay, that is quite an open question however if you track you progress you should know that answer, by tracking you will be able to establish what your previous/current total volumes and how far past it you can push each in future training cycles to make progress (say +500kg extra volume each month for example).
The principle of Overload is easily forgotten, then again so is what progression actually means as well.
Progress is progress no matter how small. Let’s a person did 140kgx10 on the squat with a belt and knee wraps 6 months ago for a PR set, they would expect this number to increase to perhaps 145/150 for their mind to register that they’ve made progress, however that might not be the case. Progress doesn’t always mean adding weight, sets or reps, it can also be how you do handle your old PR’s, if you can do 140kgx10 without a belt and knee wraps although the weight may have remained the same you’ve certainly made progress because you no longer need your support to complete what you did before.
Personally I don’t use a belt or any supportive extras, not for a sense of ego or pride, more so for the fact I have never used them because I didn’t own any. I track all of my workouts, I know what I did this time last year and for what reps, this helps me see the progress I have made (I managed 1x5x160kg on squat with good form but it was hard, that now stands at 5×5 a solid 3x5x160, and the last 2×5 are tough).
Another thing I like to keep in mind is my 70% for my lifts and how many reps I can do COMFORTABLY with it. By comfortably I mean without feeling like I’m going to die. This is a monthly check to see how I’m doing, each month I like to see what was a struggle for 10-15 reps feel easy for 15 so i can give myself a little ego boost (yep, pure ego boost) and train safe in the knowledge that even though the progress feels painstakingly slow and sometimes nonexistent, it’s still there.
How do you measure/track your overload and your progress?
If the answer is “I don’t know, I just….” then the chances are you’re missing out on some potential gains. remember this doesn’t just have to apply to lifting weights, it can also apply to CV, Body Composition and Nutrition as well.
Now go and workout what you’re actually doing and not what you think you’re doing.