Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Melbourne AU to help coach online client and good friend Taylah Robinson to victory in the Australian Junior and Masters national powerlifting championships. Taylah won the u84kg womens division and broke the open womens u84kg deadlift record a couple of times in the process.  First of all, well done to super client Tay for putting everything together on the day and sticking to the plan. During my travels home I spent some time reflecting on what makes a person successful, especially in regards to Strength sports.

The answer I come up with was very simple: CONSISTENCY. So so often I am asked about what the best program or diet is, or how much sleep should the athlete aim for, or what do I think of “blah blah” new method and while I am sure that all of these factors play a part in determining the end result, something that I very rarely see athletes focus enough on is how consistent they are.

I think you would have to look pretty hard to find a champion (in pretty much any sport) who hasn’t lived and breathed this sport for multiple years if not decades. The nature of strength sports and in particular powerlifting make this statement all the more true. I have seen champions eat and train a variety of ways, but almost ALWAYS they are the ones who day in and day out are working hard and making the small sacrifices necessary to best help them to achieve.

NO this doesn’t mean giving up all fun social activities or eating out of a container for the rest of your life. But it DOES mean putting in the boring work, staying healthy, getting enough sleep EVERY night and being realistic and balanced with your nutrition.

Everyone (champions especially) have plenty of days where they simply don’t want to be in the gym, they feel beat up, or they have work commitments or any other multitude of reasons they could be anywhere else at that point in time. BUT champions are there in the gym, grinding away getting the work done on the good days and the bad, chipping away at their goals until one day they are standing on top of the podium.

What are some steps you can take RIGHT NOW to help you achieve in the gym?

1. Get at least 7 hours of good sleep EVERY NIGHT. This is easy, it will help immensely with recovery and will make a huge difference.
2. Eat lots of protein. A bare minimum of 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight every single day. Similarly eat the right amount of calories for your goals. If you want to gain muscle and it’s not working (assuming you are training correctly) you NEED to eat more calories. The inverse is true for fat loss.
3. Train hard at least 3 times a week (4 times is better) EVERY single week. If you are sick of injured obviously take time off, but besides these two points you need to PRIORITISE your training and make time. I can guarantee your competitors are.
4. Spend at LEAST 15 minutes before EVERY single training session on the boring stuff. Activate the right muscles, release the tight ones. Focus on QUALITY movement over months and years the results will show.

There are NO shortcuts or easy ways in this sport and if you truly want to be the best then you need to work harder, eat correctly and recover better than your opposition. Years or decades of this routine behaviour and CONSISTENT hard work will make you stronger than you ever dreamed, if you just put in the work.