Why You’re Not Making Progress In The Gym

Did you know that, on average, 95% of gym-goers don’t make more than 10% progress on their lifts within the first 12 months of regular training?

Actually, I just made that up, but it sure seems like this is the case.

In my local gym I’ve noticed the following:

At This Moment, You Should Be Scared To Shit.

If You’re Not Fucking Scared At This Moment, You’re Not Going Hard Enough.

  1.  There are very few people around me I have noticed that are making real, noticeable progress.
  2. The squat rack is almost always free when I walk into the gym (which I am not complaining about at all, by the way).

Coincidence? Nope.

My local gym is full of bicep curl warriors and cable crossover kings.

I doubt one in ten members do HEAVY Deadlifts or Squats regularly. However, most would not know how to continue if “curling” dumb-bells that are too heavy to maintain any kind of consistent form became forbidden.

I would bet a decent amount of money that I have spent the most amount of time with the barbell out of all the members there (not just doing squats and deadlifts, but doing other heavy lifts like rack pulls, overhead press and bent over rows).

And as such I am one of the few dudes who is actually making rapid progress, to the point where it is not unusual for me to consistently hear about hilarious, spite-fueled rumours floating around that are a result of the local losers needing an excuses for consistently sucking shit instead of actually doing anything about it. Leaning on the curl rack and saying  “apparently he’s been caught injecting steroids in the bathroom” is a lot easier than squatting ass-to-the-grass until you can barely walk and your eyes are so red you look like you’ve just ripped five consecutive cones.

If you want to learn how you can make progress so rapidly that mediocre Mike feels to need to insist you’re on steroids to make himself feel better about his shitty, half-hearted efforts that have failed to produce noticeable results, then check this out:

How to Actually Make Progress In The Gym

Get Fucking Scared.

If you want to make any kind of progress at all, you’re going to have to get used to pushing your comfort zone.

Lifting heavy weights should be scary as shit. If you’re not scared, you’re not going hard enough.

When you stand over that barbell to do your 6th set of Deadlifts at 85% of your max; you should be sweaty, tired and fucking scared as hell.

You know that little voice in you’re head?

That one that tells you that you should skip the last set because you’ve “done enough for today”?

Or that: “You can make an exception this one time because you’re tired”?

That voice can make or break you.

To become a winner, you need to learn to DESTROY that voice in your head.

You act in spite of that voice.

You don’t think,

You turn your music up and make whatever stupid face is necessary and rip that bar off the ground.

“But Ryan, you’ve only had 4 hours sleep, you’re too tired to chuck on another 10kg’s.”

Ryan, you’re coming down with a cold and if you train too hard you will make yourself sick.”


Get mad at that voice, make fun of it. That voice is what will stop you from accomplishing your dreams.

That’s the voice of resistance, and it’s your biggest enemy.

If you give into fear in the gym, that’s what you’re going to do in life.

Make one tiny concession, and you’ll allow yourself to make more. Then, before you know it you’re playing COD for eight hours a day, subsisting on Easy Mac and Froot Loops and when you’re dick is too sore to have another wank over the “Hardcore” category in Pornhub (because regular Porn just doesn’t do it anymore), you’re annoying the shit out of your Facebook friends by openly complaining about how women only date douche-bags, and that it’s so unfair you don’t have a girlfriend because if you did you would treat her with the unquestionable supplication that all women supposedly deserve.

In other words; listen to that voice and you’re fucked.

When I put down the barbell from my last set of heavy Squats or Deadlifts, two things happen:

  1. I see stars and I feel as though I’m about to pass out.
  2. I grin my fucking face off, because I know that I’m now better than I was 2 minutes ago.

Seriously, I don’t know of a better feeling than pushing yourself through that last heavy set, when you know you’ve just made progress.

When I push myself to the absolute limit, when I act in spite of that shitty voice in my head, the voice of resistance – that’s when progress is made.

Laugh at that little voice in your head.

Get mad at it and just fucking go, without thinking.

Don’t countdown.

Don’t go and get a drink.

Stop thinking.

Just go.

– Ryan John

  • Ryan
  • November 25, 2013

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