What are my best numbers? When do I change it up? What can’t I eat?
What are my best numbers?
Your best numbers are reflected in the daily tallies of your workout log, and accented by comparing
-% of 1RM increases in strength
-total pounds lifted
-quality of movement progressions
These numbers contain your ‘better by’ numbers (also known as the relative % of strength increase).
The numerical totals or averages which you consider your best numbers is entirely up to you. If you value a 12% increase in 1 rep-max greater than a 2,000lb. increase in total pounds lifted, that’s OK! All gains may be good, beneficial gains, and all measurements of strength may be related to one another, yet the answer to your question “what is my best strength number?” is simply the number which signifies the fastest, largest gain.
Example: If I started squatting one month ago, and the number I could squat for 1-rep without effort was 100lbs., I had a 100lb. 1 rep max. If, in one month, I could perform the same movement with 130lbs., well then i increased my 1 rep max by 30% in one month. How that number stacks up against other gains is what will/will not highlight it as the best number.
And any trainer worth their salt will tell you that all gains are good gains. Unless competing in a strength or physique discipline, do not get hung up on how much better one number is than another. That, is for the trainer to work on.
When do I change it up?
We are in the car, driving toward progressive overload: it is our paramount destination.
-Multiple roads in? Yes.
-Are some paths quicker for myself or others? Well, we create the resistance along the path by choosing the path, so in moving towards a goal, frequent quality assessments might behoove you.
When exercise progressively overloads your body and creates adaptation to a stressor, the numbers which provide proof of progress are rich with indicators of just how much stronger you became. A 5lb increase may be as much as a 33% intensity gain for someone who progressed from a 15lb weight to a 20lb weight. Monitoring the degree of change provides a timeline for the fluctuations in ALL MANNER OF STREGNTH QUANTITIES. A strength quantity is exemplified by speed, distance, 1 repetition maximum lifts, vertical jumping, etc. These are measurements chronicling the act of moving against resistance, which is how I define ‘strength’.
For the trainee who is stuck somewhere; did you chronicle yourself into a grinding halt or did you train yourself into a pit without noting any of the things you did, any of which could have been a factor in your relegation to the mullet bin?
If you have not written down your workouts, or even recorded your physical composition before you began on the hard road to wellness, you are in the best place possible to walk away from everything you ‘know’ of exercise and learn how to train yourself.
I train by teaching, I teach by presenting, I produce physical change by patterning, and the trainee patterns themselves further, through enthusiastic administration of exercise and recovery protocol. As much of the growth is charted, as is possible. Not every single meal or run can be 100% accurate on 100% of reports, but actions toward accountability surely set the user up for future bombast.
Changing it up may constitute a single variations on a single factor on a single day of training. Look at one factor: Load, Tempo, Tool and make a single change. That qualifies as ‘changing it up’. Switch the weight (load), switch the tempo (turn a kettlebell push press into a press), or the tool (use a pair of DBs in place of a bar), and you have successfully created a slight alteration that may help your body adapt to the stressors of physique and performance enhancing exercise.
Before anyone training themselves begins to ‘switch up’ a ‘routine’, they should write down their lifts at a bare, skeletal minimum. If you know someone like this, call
to help them log their lifts. Together, we can triumph over apathy and promote accountability.
What can’t I eat?
Allow me this: I would prefer to look at a situation in need of resolve with a more optimistic eye. By that, i mean, I would phrase the question: “How do these foods affect me?”. If you even think for a moment that a selection of food is not going to ease the course toward your better body, your better performance/sleep/sex/resolve, you may have already answered the question. Rather than “what can you NOT eat?”, ask yourself if the psychological and anatomical price you may have to pay after celebrating with low quality food is worth it.