A Belated Monthly Progress Report

Today is the day!  I stress this sentiment every day.  Every day is the day to make progress and record results.  Every day is another day to be the best that you can be!  To read one of my best posts that stresses that sentiment, click here.

Now, I’d like to share with you some results I have made in the gym!  I haven’t done this in a couple of months, and I was intending to make a monthly progress report.  However, the journey of a natural lifter requires perseverance and results do not always come every month.  Without further ado, I give you my (semi) monthly lifting report:

This is what I could lift 3 months ago!

This is what I could lift 3 months ago!

Legs:

I can now easily rep out 225(102 kg) on squats!  I am really proud of that and I can quickly becoming strong enough to do 275 as a one rep max.  I am hoping to achieve that weight soon so I can set my next SMART GOAL for 315.

I don’t quite know the weight conversion but I can now max out all of the leg machines and I am using the leg press where I typically throw on a lot of plates.  Today I put 360 lbs(163 kg) on the leg press and went for reps.  I had a good time working my legs this Sunday afternoon and I am happy to share those results!

Back and Biceps:

As I’ve said some new personal records on leg day, I also set some new records on back and bicep day.

Yesterday was my back and bicep day, and I managed to lift heavier on my deadlift than ever before!  I did 315 lbs(142 kg) for EIGHT reps.  I didn’t attempt to go higher because usually I can only do three reps at that weight.  I was tremendously proud and surprised that I could do so much more!  (ALSO, A LITTLE DISCLAIMER:  I count deadlifts as a main workout on back day because they work every muscle on your posterior chain.  You could count them as a leg workout or a back workout, or even a shoulder workout because they work almost every muscle in your body)

I immediately went on to do bent over rows and knocked out 185 lbs fairly easily.  I did some shoulder presses with 55 lb dumb bells and managed to get about six good reps.

Keep in mine that the bicep work I am about to talk about is all dumbbell work and not with a barbell as in the picture above.  My barbell curls are about 80 lbs now.  When I went on to my biceps, I managed to get about eight strict curls on each arm with 40 lbs.  When I did restricted curls, I only aimed for 30 lbs and did them nice and slow to get really feel that burn! 🙂

Chest and Triceps:

Here is where we hit all my plateaus!  I am only getting slightly stronger in this group, but some of my reps are feeling less forced so I am assuming that I am near the end of this long plateau.  I am only at 185 lbs (83 kg) on bench press and struggling to get four reps, and that’s where I’ve been for months now.

I am under the impression that it’s an easy fix, though!  I feel like I have neglected some tricep work and that is why my bench press and (other) tricep related exercises are lacking.  I have been hitting them hard and, as I said, the reps feel less forced.  I am almost to the point of maxing out my local gym’s chest fly machine and I feel that, when my triceps catch up, I’ll be able to do a lot more weight in all my other chest-tricep exercises.

Conclusion:

I’ve been training hard, and sometimes I don’t see huge results while other times I see remarkable results!  As I’ve said in the past, consistency is key.  Just remember, if you work out hard for a long time you may not see the results you want…

..but if you don’t work out at all, you will see NO results!  Keep moving forward and have some MAXED OUT MUSCLES!

maxed out muscles

Using SMART Goals To Get Ripped In Three Months

Write Your SMART goals down in a journal!

Write Your SMART goals down in a journal!

SMART goals are used by businesses and smart people to set their goals in a way that makes those goals:

  1. Specific – goals are very specific and include detail of what, why, and how the goal should be accomplished.
  2. Measurable – goals should have tangible evidence of how to tell whether you’ve completed them or not.
  3. Achievable – the goals should be very possible and not impossible.  If a goal is impossible it is likely to only discourage someone.  If the goal is obtainable then the person achieving the goal may feel very proud of themselves once they finish.
  4. Results focused – there should be a clear explanation for why you’re completing the goal.  Also, there should be a definite result from completing this goal that can impact you or your work.
  5. Time bound – there should be a set date for when you need to complete this goal.  Your goal should have some urgency involved to its completion.

If you haven’t noticed yet, SMART is an acronym standing for specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.

Not only are SMART goals a great way to accomplish things in your life or at your workplace, but they can also be very handy when you are wanting to make achievements at the gym.  If you haven’t read my post titled “Victory From A Goal And A Direction And Why You Can Succeed” I highly recommend you click here because that post relates very closely to what I am about to talk about with SMART goals.  Now, it’s time to explain why SMART goals are so important:

  1. They help give the driven a path to follow.  Is your mind cluttered with all sorts of ideas of what you want to do?  Then it’s good that you’re driven, but write out some SMART goals so that you can truly be successful.
  2. They raise your confidence!  When you set small, achievable goals they will eventually add up and you will realize that you have achieved a lot more than you originally thought possible.
  3. Businesses have been using them for years!  Do you want to try and reinvent the wheel or do you want to find what has worked for successful people for a long time already?  Great, I know you made the right choice.

As I said earlier, you can apply these goals to fitness the same way you can life and work.  Simply pick something and go for it!  Here I’ll show you my current SMART goals on getting ripped in three months and this will give you the framework on how to write your own SMART goals:

  1. List the goal –  My goal is to get ripped in three months!
  2. Be specific – I will achieve sub-10% body fat by February by eating at a small caloric deficit, intermittently fasting, and I am doing this because I want to feel good about my body and my health.
  3. Measurable – I will know how close I am to achieving a body fat % below ten by using a body fat caliper.  I can also track my results using measuring tape and a scale to check my weight.  There are also some clear physical attributes that will become noticeable as I obtain a lower body fat %.
  4. Achievable – The goal is very achievable.  The average person can expect to lose about two pounds of fat a week and once I am lower in body fat I know that may slow down, so I expect to lose about two to three pounds of fat a week for a while.  After those first two months, I expect to lose about a pound of fat a week resulting in that low body fat %.  Plenty of people have done this successfully; it simply takes time and dedication to a healthy and balanced diet.
  5. Results focused – The benefit of accomplishing this goal is the fact that I will feel good about myself and I will build the values and confidence to achieve more SMART goals.  As a result, when I move on towards my next goal of gaining lean muscle mass, I will have a lot more confidence in the fact that I can achieve the things I set my mind on.
  6. Time bound – The completion date that I have established is February.  This puts a lot of urgency on me and a lot of pressure even if it is attainable.  This urgency is a great thing though, because I am more likely to stick to my diet and work harder to achieve my goal in that set amount of time.

As you can see, I have a great framework for my SMART goals and I hope you decide to write some goals out for yourself.

Just use the same SMART goal rubric I taught you and do your best to achieve something because you’re smart and capable.

Tracking Results Can Maximize Performance

I just want to let you know it will help you tremendously if you track your results when you lift weights. This will keep you from aimlessly stacking weight on the bar because you don’t remember how much you did before. It will set a personal goal for you as you want to do more, somehow, than you did previously.

I hope my advice helped. If you’d like free updates to my blog feel free to subscribe. Thanks!