A Post Explaining How To Test Yourself And Monitor Progress In Your Training And Life By Orange County Sports Performance Trainer, Chris Mangano
When training, whether it be for athletic competition or just in your own strength training it is important that you know for sure you are making progress. The most common way to do this is to choose a training day at a recurring increment, usually monthly, and “test” yourself on certain movements and lifts. While this way works I feel it is not the ideal way to do this.
First of all, who wants to waste an entire day testing? If you test yourself once a month that is twelve training sessions you are missing a year. A lot can be accomplished in twelve training sessions and it doesn’t make sense to me to miss these just to test.
Second, if you are testing yourself in one full session then you will have less energy for each subsequent movement you test. Let me explain. Suppose you decide you want to track your progress in the squat, bench press, vertical jump and 40 yard dash in that order. Obviously after doing heavy squats, heavy bench presses and maximum vertical jumps your sprint is not going to be your best effort. No matter what order you test in, each exercise you perform will have some negative impact on the next. Thus you can’t really get accurate results this way.
A Better Way To Take The Test
So do I test my athletes and myself? Of course I do, but I don’t waste an entire training session doing it. I prefer to be testing my athletes all the time. If you are an athlete and you are at all serious about it you should be doing the same.
When I say testing all the time I mean always trying to do better than you did the last time. For instance, if the last time you squatted you did 315 then the next time you squat you should try to do more. It may only be five or ten pounds but that is progress. If the last time you performed vertical jumps you jumped 30 inches you should try to top that. By doing this you not only don’t lose a training day, but you also get into the mindset of GETTING BETTER EVERY DAY.
Now you may not always improve every single time. There are a lot of things that can affect performance from day to day and week to week. Stress at home, lack of sleep, not getting enough food, etc. But if you stay in the mindset of always trying to get better than you will be able to find the solutions for these problems quicker and get back on the path to improvement sooner.
And this doesn’t have to apply only to training. Think about it. If you are overweight then you could test yourself by eating less each day. If you get bad grades then test yourself by studying for 30 minutes each night, then an hour, then two hours, etc. Get better in life and you’ll get better in training and competition.
Testing doesn’t have to be complicated and doesn’t have to interrupt your training. Every athlete should have the mindset that they are testing themselves everyday. Work to improve at everything you do in all aspects of your life and you will not only become a better athlete but a better person.