Never Underestimate The Power of One Percent Gains.

Never Underestimate The Power of One Percent Gains.

The idea of one percent gains has allowed me to level up my workouts in a HUGE way by giving me a clear path of growth that I could focus on week-to-week after each workout.  There is no bigger motivator in life than progress and when I was able to see my numbers go up every week, my excitement and drive uncontrollably spiked!  Pay attention, because there is incredible power in this idea when applied properly—Good luck!

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When I was in the early stages of building up the habit of writing down my workouts ahead of time, I came to a particularly rude awakening – one that I had been overlooking in all of my years of working out:  My workouts all-in-all and over the long run – were essentially the same.

…They didn’t feel the same.  Week-to-week I felt like I was switching it up and making gains.

But the more that I thought about it, the more I realized that every time I did a specific workout or targeted a specific muscle group, I would work to a similar rep count with a similar number of sets and with a similar weight – under the impression that I was progressing.

…I wasn’t.  I was working out in essentially the same comfort zone, to the same weight limits, and to the same point of exhaustion.

How could this be?

You see, by not writing down my reps, sets, and weights, and by not setting new goals for myself for next week’s workout, I was constantly showing up to my workouts under the same mindset.

The four major lifts that I focus on are: Dead lift, Bench Press, Squat Clean, and Squat. What I realized as I started writing down my numbers week-to-week was that there were certain weight limits that I never would even attempt to break.

They represented the upper limit of my comfort zone, and because I wasn’t setting the goal to break through them, I never even tried (or realized that they were there).

And if you’re not gaining – you’re simply maintaining.

…And that’s not why I (or you) should be working out.

That’s when I had my epiphany and decided that from that point on, whenever I was planning out next week’s workout, I would always strive to make at least a one percent gain.

This changed everything for me.

Originally introduced to me in an article by James Clear, the 1% Rule focuses on making realistic, steady gains week-to-week, workout-to-workout, so that your long term success is ensured.

The way it works is simple:  At the end of your workout, while you’re planning out next week’s workout, you increase the weight by 2 lbs, or increase the rep count by one, or try and get one more set in before the time is up so that you can see progress every session.

This also is beneficial because it gives you micro-goals that you can work towards every workout; it allows you to stay focused on what’s important (the workout) because you don’t have to think on the fly when you show up to the gym the following week (all the planning work is done); and it gives you time to solidify your thoughts on your workout that day which is huge for beating the resistance week-to-week.

Since then, I have seen myself break outside of my normal workout comfort zones and make steady progress at almost every session.

One percent gains add up.

…And the cool thing about one percent is that because it’s only a micro increase in workload week-to-week and because your body adapts and gets stronger workout-to-workout, you won’t get overwhelmed because you still will be able to follow the 70% Mindset.

To be clear, one percent gains does not mean that you work out at 70% intensity one week then 71% intensity the week after and 72% intensity the week after that and 80% intensity several weeks after that…

What it means is that since your body will be making adaptations and will be getting stronger from your one percent gains, your 70% effort will be improving and you’ll be able to do more (lift more) at 70% as a result.

So you might be able to lift 100 pounds at a 70% effort at week one but are able to lift 105 pounds at a 70% effort at week two or three because of your one percent gains.

Remember, progress will always be your biggest motivator and one percent per week adds up to upwards of a 50% gain at the end of a year.

Never underestimate the power of one percent gains.

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Read Next:  The Post Workout Ritual – How to End Each Sweat Session the Right Way and Why It Matters.

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2 Responses to Never Underestimate The Power of One Percent Gains.

  • Dear Matt,

    Congratulations sir. You have just realized the difference between ‘exercising’ and ‘training’. Progress, or the one percent as you have cleverly dubbed it.
    Hopefully, many will read this and take it to heart. If even one does, you have succeeded.

    Bless you…..and Happy 1%!

    • Thank you, Buffet!! …And it seems as though YOU have read it which means I have already succeeded 😉

      Happy 1% to you too.

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