After you have been in the iron game for a while you start to develop more daily habits and goals as apposed to focusing on just one long-term goal. Experienced weightlifters still will have long-term goals but they are also seasoned enough to know that creating habits that they do everyday will create long-term success. You can’t build muscle, get lean or increase strength just by setting a goal. You need to think about what you do each day if you want to have longevity as a lifter and keep making progress.
Follow these six things that experienced lifters do each day and keep on moving toward your long-term success.
Veteran lifters will also keep their eye on the prize and make their goal, the goal. If they need to get in 200 grams of protein, 1 gallon of water, 5 meals each day and other goals, they will remind themselves of these goals at various times in their minds throughout the day. If they are lifting upper-body on that day, they will think about what exercises they need to execute, what time they are working out and how long it should take them. Bottom line: they are giving themselves a constant reminder of what mini-goals they have to get in each day.
In the past, bodybuilders, powerlifters and others in the weightlifting group would fear that if they did other physical movements that it would hurt their gains. They wanted to optimize recovery and not over train. We now know that moving and engaging in active play each day is great for recovery. You will now see lifters utilizing many techniques on off-days to get an edge. On non-lifting days, a long walk, stretching and mobility drills or any other physical activity can be very beneficial for long-term recovery and growth.
Even though your body doesn’t change that much day to day, it is imperative that you create the habit of looking at your physique and notice changes and possibly injuries or movement issues. From an aesthetic standpoint, it keeps you honest with your current condition in regards to muscle growth and leanness. From an injury and movement issue, it helps you understand if you need to back off from training, get something checked out, or push the limits when you are feeling well.
Keeping a journal of your training can be a very useful tool, especially in the long-term. It allows you to reflect back on what worked and what didn’t work. It allows you to track progress, remember issues you had with a certain lift and if a program allowed you to make any progress. If you just wing it and don’t pay attention to past programs, diets, sleep patterns, injuries, how you felt during a program and what exercises, sets and rep schemes work, you will find it tough to make any progress.
Avid lifters don’t only think about lifting big weights and getting huge. This is what college guys will do, but after you lift for 10 plus years, you will accumulate some injuries and issues. This is where Epsom salt baths; foam rolling, extra sleep or naps, massages, and even some Yoga will come in handy. If you pound the weights long enough you will earn some wisdom and find ways to keep on going. Getting huge is one thing but doing it for a long time will require you to take care of your body everyday.
Experienced lifters look at this as a lifestyle, not just a program. They know that drinking water, sleep, eating correctly, and staying in the weight room will only pay off if they are consistent. Sure, they may miss a meal here and there and even some workouts, but they know that being consistent for the long haul is where it's at. They never totally get out of the lifting game for extended periods of time and pay attention to their diet. They think about it each day, just like taking a shower and brushing their teeth. If you are not doing something to improve your body each day, you will have a tougher time calling yourself a true lifter.