The Reality of Strength Gains

The Reality of Strength Gains

By Kena Perry

We live in a fast paced, “get it done yesterday” society. We’re always in a hurry to get somewhere or do something, and when it comes to fitness it’s no different. Everyone wants to achieve their goals yesterday, whatever it may be- weight loss, strength gains, body composition, etc. But the reality is that real weight loss and strength gains take time, a lot of time. And not only time, but consistent effort over time.

I am a strength athlete, and as a strength athlete, I have been lifting fairly consistently for the past 5 years or so. I like to think that I’m pretty strong, but I wasn’t born with this strength and it certainly didn’t happen overnight. For example, I first got into lifting back in 2011, and for the longest time I struggled with pull-ups, I couldn’t do one. But, I continued to practice them every single week, until finally months later, I did my first unassisted strict pull-up. I was ecstatic and didn’t want to stop there. Every single week, I would do 3 sets of pull-ups, the first week I was only able to do 1 pullup each set, but the second week I did 2 each set. And each week I added another rep every set until I was able to do 3 sets of 10 pull-ups. It took me a long time, and it was not easy, but because of my sustained consistent effort over time, I was able to get stronger and better.

With anything, it’s easy to get frustrated and give up on things that we find difficult and I could have easily done that. I could have said, “yeah, pull-ups are really hard, I’ll never be able to do them.” Instead, I chose to break down the goal and work towards it every week.
And as I’ve found with lifting, the more you do it and the stronger you get, the smaller the PR’s are and the longer it takes to get them. For example, in May 2016, I pulled a max effort deadlift, it was 315 lbs. It took me two years of consistent training and nutrition to pull 335 lbs. That means it took me two years to add 20 lbs to my deadlift.

In summation, the longer that you’ve been working out and lifting, the longer it takes to hit PR’s and to make strength gains. Not only does it take time, but it also takes consistent effort. The biggest things that you need to make strength gains are patience, hard work, consistent effort, and a good attitude.

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