For the first four years of working out, my main goal was to get huge.
I was obsessed with professional bodybuilders like Franco Colombu, Arnold, and Frank Zane.
Just look at those guys. I wanted that Greek god look too… and I was going to do everything it took to get it.
I knew other people that trained very hard at the time as well but most of them didn’t see the same type of gains that I did.
Part of it was because I was far more dedicated to a healthy diet than they were (this is a topic for another day, stay tuned.)
But I’m absolutely sure that the other reason was because of one little trick that I used for those four years.
The thing I did differently from other people was this:
I brought a piece of paper to record my workouts every time I stepped foot in the gym.
( 4 years of workout logs)
The logic behind this was simple, if I wrote down everything I did at the gym one day, I could see it the next week and try to beat that workout.
This made working out far more exciting because each day I was trying to beat my previous workout.
Each workout was a competition against myself.
Like any other time in life when you do something different, I got made fun of at first. But the jokes stopped when people saw how quickly I was growing while they were still lifting the same weight from a month ago.
Your body only grows when you expose it to more and more challenging tasks.
If you do the same amount of weight or same number of reps each week, sooner or later your progress will stall…the dreaded plateau.
My goal for every workout was to either get a more reps per exercise or lift slightly heavier weight than last time so that I would never plateau.
Here’s how I set it up.
I kept a separate log for each set of body parts.
Chest and triceps had one log, back and biceps had another, shoulders and abs had their own, and legs had one as well.
If it was chest and triceps day, I’d grab my log from last week and start a new section below the last workout.
Before every set, I’d look at my numbers for that set from the week before. This gave me a goal in mind of what I needed to beat.
After every set, I’d write down the weight I used and the number of reps I did.
Notice how in my second workout here (bottom portion), I increased either the reps or weight several times from the previous workout (top portion).
Also notice that I wasn’t always able to beat the last workout. Sometimes certain exercises would actually go down if I was more tired or if the set before was hard.
But regardless, I would always beat myself on at least one exercise.
This guaranteed that every workout I would be challenging myself a little more.
Over time, these small increases added up.
1 extra rep here, 5 extra pounds there, 10 seconds less rest here.
Little by little these increases compounded to make me bigger and stronger.
No one could keep up.
I guess my goofy little paper wasn’t so goofy after all…
If you want to keep your gains coming in month after month, make each workout a competition against yourself.