Definition of Progress

Weightlifting is a numbers game. 

This should come as no surprise. Numbers help your coach map out a strong training plan and allow for progress to be tracked. And, let’s face it, the person who lifts the most…wins. 

So, numbers are important. 

But, there’s more to training. Begin to peel away the layers, and you’ll realize it is anything but just the weight on the bar…

Movement Quality

Lifting is quite simple. Get in the strongest position possible so you can express your strength. 

If on the first day of training, you had to squat while standing on 2.5kg plates and now you no longer need plates…progress.

If you turned your earlier split jerks in to a less than pleasing visual experience and now you have a flawless split…progress.

If you saw your life flash before your eyes during snatch balances -may even still do at times – but now, you’re diving under the bar like it’s a joke…progress.

What about pain? Maybe you had back pain when you first started training and now, you have little, if any. Maybe you aren’t doing full snatches, but the pain has been reduced. That’s huge.

Always remember, that, yes, being strong is good. But, being strong in the right positions, is better.

Training Habits

Were you, at one point, notorious for missing sessions, but now, you’ve been consistent for the past 3 months? What about during the session? Did you always find yourself on the mental absentee ballot, but now, you have laser focus?

Well, if you have, congratulate yourself.

Seriously. The amount of work it takes to (re)develop discipline and focus – two skills all successful athletes must master – takes more effort than most people can fathom.

Understanding The Training Process

(I purposely placed this point before the next two…)

From a big picture point of view, progress (hopefully) trends upward. 

But zoom in. What does it look like?

It looks like little Johnny scribbled all over your walls with a red crayon. If you expect to hit PRs or feel great during every training session, you probably won’t have much long-term success as a weightlifter. 

Now, zoom out. 

Is that uptrend still there? It is, right? Okay, good. 

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of training and time. If you are so focused on the day to day, you will get lost in it. 

So, next time you feel like your progress is sluggish, take a moment and review previous training. See where you once were and compare it to where you are now.

It can make all the difference.

Handling Setbacks

Once a headcase, now you’re calm and collective? Not as reactive? Have a better control of your emotions?

Consider that progress.

The ability to control your emotions – whether they be acute, or something you have bottled up – is just as valuable as a big squat. 

The problem is, it’s difficult to teach – it’s a character thing. 

But, that’s the point. And one, that many may never realize. The amount of effort that goes into personal change can be more than what it takes to squat double bodyweight. 

Be proud of yourself. 


It’s great to have the goal of jerking 200kgs, but, if your ambitions get in the way of the now, then you may start making some crappy decisions. And, worst case, get injured. Often times, chancing ambitions, can lead to impatience. And impatience, leads to problems. 

Look, I am all for having extravagant ambitions. I think, for me at least, it produces a tremendous drive. But, I must admit, It has pulled me off tract at times.

…Focus on the now. Focus on improving today over yesterday. If you stay diligent, your ambitions may be here before you know it.

Just Keep Pushing.


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