What Does Progress Actually Look Like?

Progress is a difficult thing to quantify because there are so many versions of it- progress could mean heavier weight, or increased repetitions or even a better quality of movement. Progress is hard to measure and sometimes even harder to come by. Today I will reveal all about progress- what it is and how to achieve it.

To truly understand progress you need to understand that it is relative. It is relative to your own personal fitness goal- this can be anything from Cross-fit to sports. With this in mind we need to ask a question… What is your goal? There is no right or wrong answer to this to have a long hard think. Pinpoint your exact goal. From here we can begin to process what progress looks like for you.

I will try and organise this discipline by discipline so each sport gets its own section but there will be some gaps that you will have to fill yourself…

  1. Sports  

If your goal was to become a better sportsman then listen up. Sports is such a broad term that we need to break it down further- because rugby is very different from golf. Ask yourself this what does your sport require? Is it speed? Strength? Agility? Whatever it is that is what progress looks like for you. Becoming faster, stronger more agile. That is the progress you should be looking for.

Becoming a better athlete is, in my opinion, one of the harder disciplines to master simply because identifying what is required to master a sport is not universal and takes a bit of thought. But do not be discouraged- a good sportsman is someone admired by many.

2. Cross-fit

Cross-fit is an odd blend of aerobic fitness and weightlifting and so your progress must reflect this. Progress for our Cross-fit friends will be a mix of endurance, agility and strength. With that in mind, because the Cross-fit games are made up of specific events, you may want to centre progress around becoming better at those events. With a discipline as varied as Cross-fit progress can come in many different forms so do not be concerned if your version of progress is different to others, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson…

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

3. Weightlifting

This is a highly specific lifting discipline that requires plenty of technique and strength. These would be the obvious basis for progress. However, with that said, do not be afraid to work on things like speed, which may not be the most blatant trait needed to be a good weightlifter but will definitely play a part in strength and technique. Remember to look outside the box when it comes to finding your progress.

4. Body Building

This is probably the most common one and concerns most of my readers. With this the goal is to build muscle 99% of the time, so progress for you would take the form of increased weight or increased repetitions. However, technique is a great tool to build muscle so an alternative form of progress could be that.

I am sorry if I have not covered your sport, hopefully you get the gist of how I have thought about each one. But if you need more help then do not be afraid to ask. I will take with anyone who will listen.

“Help will always be given at Hogwarts (The Fitness Writer) to those who ask for it”

Swiss Army Knife.jpg
A Swiss Army Knife

To achieve these goals and to see progress in the way you have devised progress to be you need to be functional. Like a Swiss Army Knife. You need to set a training regime that will suit your sport or discipline best and so you can achieve progress. Luckily I have written an entire article on functional training.  But if you are pushed for time then I will sum it up in a few words. To achieve functional training you need to have a goal ( the one you thought of in the second paragraph of the article), you then need to find exercises or movements that help achieve that goal. I can help with that. And that is pretty much it.

It is really very simple to find progress, to achieve it. You just need to know what you are looking for.

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