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My “Practice Like Arnold” Problem is coming down the house stretch. After a exercise in the course of week 4 of the Arnold Problem, I made a decision to test my progress. In my thoughts, I had taken steps in the proper path, and I used to be getting stronger. My endurance was bettering as effectively. After resting for 3 minutes between supersets and trisets on this routine, I had reduce that right down to round two minutes, which was a very good signal. Nonetheless, I questioned how I had seemed.

Once you see your self within the mirror each day, you don’t discover the adjustments. I had misplaced 13 kilos by this level, and a few of my garments had been becoming in a different way – in a great way. However nonetheless, wouldn’t it be noticeable? Once I first began this journey, I had taken a photograph of myself in a black tank prime and thought of that my earlier than image. I didn’t wish to take an after image that confirmed me tan with my physique shaved and oiled up as a result of that will disguise the precise outcomes. So, I put that very same tank prime on, and stepped out to the identical spot that the primary picture was taken. You possibly can see these photographs for your self beneath.

I’ve at all times been my hardest critic, so I instantly wished to see extra enchancment, however no less than I took steps in the proper path. I’m leaner, my again is wider, and I’m stronger. I can credit score that progress – as little or large as they could be, to some various factors. Hopefully, you’ll be able to apply these to your personal coaching and life in case you don’t already.

Roger Lockridge after completing week four of the Arnold Challenge
Roger Lockridge

No Step Is Too Small

I’ve at all times been an advocate for fixed enchancment. No, it gained’t occur on a regular basis or as a lot as we want, however every time I prepare, I wish to do one thing higher this time than final time. That was undoubtedly put to the take a look at throughout this problem.

Once I began this journey, I logged my exercises as a result of I wished to gauge my coaching and discover methods to enhance on as many workout routines as potential. One instance of this may very well be with the bent-over barbell row. Arnold stood on a board and used an extended vary of movement by decreasing the load to the ground – and even to his ft when he stood on a bench. I can’t stand on a bench and do that in my barn, however I might definitely stand on a board.

When it got here to rows, I wasn’t very aware of this technique, and you could possibly see it in case you had been to observe my type. I used to be weak on this motion. My prime set on the primary exercise was with 155 kilos for 12 reps. I made a decision that if I received to the purpose that I might do greater than 12, I might add 2.5-pound plates to every facet. Doing this train thrice per week for 4 weeks meant I might have loads of possibilities to enhance. By the center of Week 3, I used to be utilizing 165 kilos, and I spotted I might go heavier. So, subsequent time, an additional 5 or perhaps a ten will go on all sides and we’ll see what occurs.

You could be considering “that’s solely ten kilos,” and also you’re right. Nevertheless, break down doing that 10 additional kilos for every rep, every set, and every exercise. My again is bound to get stronger, thicker, and higher total, wouldn’t it not?

The Compound Impact is Actual

Moreover the bent-over row instance, mix that with each additional rep I get on pullups or my enchancment on the deadlifts. There are many alternatives to get higher and maximize my outcomes – all by doing yet another rep or 5 extra kilos every set. That’s just for the again. Now, add within the chest exercise I’m doing alongside again, the leg exercise I’m doing that night, and the shoulders and arms exercises that comply with the subsequent day. I’ve but to enhance on all the pieces in a exercise every time, however there are small jumps right here and there which can be making a distinction.

That is one thing that you could possibly put into apply to your personal exercises as effectively. Hold monitor of your coaching for one exercise. Then, the subsequent time you carry out that exercise, set a aim of doing yet another rep or sliding one other weight plate on the sleeves, even when it’s 2.5 kilos per facet. Once you get it, you’ll really feel that small sense of accomplishment, which might carry you ahead to do much more all through the remainder of the session. It could begin with 2.5’s, however it’s possible you’ll ultimately find yourself including 25’s in case you’re constant and devoted sufficient.

Steps Past the Units

Taking over a coaching program of this magnitude can take an awesome toll on each the physique and thoughts. You’ve learn on this collection a few of the psychological challenges I’ve handled alongside the way in which. It’s due to these challenges that I spotted I wanted to hunt out all of the little wins and construct on them.

The little victories I’ve felt alongside the way in which transcend the weights themselves. Doing my ten minutes of cardio after a meal is actually taking steps nearer to my objectives. Consuming the proper meals, even when it’s tempting to have one thing else, could be a victory. As a matter of truth, being near temptation and strolling away with out giving in could be a large victory. Prioritizing your aim as an alternative of the short-term satisfaction that got here with no matter was there within the second could be a sport changer as a result of you’ll present your self that you simply’re prepared to do what it takes to win.

Search Out Your Wins and Hold Going

The examples I shared listed here are simply that – examples by myself private journey to this point. These pointers have helped me from the time I began coaching in 1999 to now in 2023. My victories could also be completely different than yours. That is the time that you could discover your wins and begin racking them up. Sure, there will probably be just a few L’s on the way in which, however so long as there are extra W’s, then you definately’re on the proper path.

This journey for me has been removed from good. I’ve filmed units of squats and realized I didn’t go deep sufficient. I’ve had a quantity in my head on a set of Arnold Presses and didn’t come shut. If a loss like both of these could be all it takes to cease me, you wouldn’t be studying this proper now. Discovering your wins, recognizing them, and vowing to get even higher tomorrow, are easy steps that may get you to your vacation spot.

If you wish to try week 4 of the Arnold Problem, comply with me on Instagram @rocklockridge.