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Speech of the Week: A little better

So you’re in the middle of the struggle. 

You can see that you’re not in as bad shape as you were before, but you’re not the model of the athlete that you want to be. 

Your meals are anywhere from ok to “pretty good”. 

You’re making 70% or so of your workout plan. 

Let’s say that you even know to avoid the all-or-nothing trap and you’re not getting down on yourself for not being “perfect”.  But it’s a struggle. 

What do you do? 

A little better, a little more. 

Find 1 small thing and do it a little better, on purpose.  It can be objective like adding repetitions or sets or resistance or duration.  It can also be subjective like applying yourself better, activating more muscle fibers, moving with more ease and control.   

Typically this is your priority for applying the criteria.  If you can do #1, move on to #2

Do the objective points first, then look for subjective points.  

Objective Priorities:

  1. Increase resistance.  Everything else being equal, if you can go heavier you’ll get stronger.  

  2. Increase reps.  If you can do 12 reps correctly with the same weight instead of 7, you’re stronger.  Simple. 

  3. Increase Time under tension.  Make the set last longer.  Slowing down proves that you have control, or else exposes a lack of control. 

  4. Decrease rest between sets. 

  5. Add sets (this is best to integrate on a periodized basis)

Subjective Priorities:

  1. Mentally engage yourself

  2. Move easier and with less pain.  

  3. Feel more “in control”

  4. Engage more muscle fibre per movement (this technically could be objective but there’s no practical way to measure it).

  5. Observe when you feel “fresher” and less fatigued by the same amount of work.  


Don’t try to do all of this at once!  A little better, a little more is it’s own mindset skill that you’ll have to practice adopting (hmmm, that’s almost like a picture within a picture within a picture).  Seek to apply 1-2 of the above points in any given workout and as your skill improves, seek to apply the relevant points to each individual exercise.  Consciously strive to use objective and subjective criteria as benchmarks to observe your progress.  Your body will respond.  

Oh yeah, and “a little better, a little more” works for improving your nutrition too.  

NOTE:  A big reason why I chose to use Truecoach as a tool to program all my clients’ workouts is because when good notes are taken, you know exactly what to do to “beat” your previous performance and you don’t spend time wandering around in circles never making progress because you forgot.  

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