What’s Your Metric?


After a recent class, a member came up to me and told me about his frustration with his perceived lack of squatting progress in his time since starting with us (roughly 7 months). He was confused and frustrated by other people in class lifting more than he was despite all his hard work.

I say that his progress was “perceived” because what I’ve seen in this person is the opposite of how he feels he’s done. When he first started with us, even empty bar squats were a challenge. Just a week ago I saw him squat what must be close to his body weight – with impeccable form.

Sure he still might be coming up short compared to the other people in class, but his numbers show progress in just 7 months that is nothing short of remarkable.

The specifics of this case aside, this is not an uncommon conversation with a new member. “Well, I’ve been here for a while now and I’m still not as good as that person. What am I doing wrong?!” The truth is, if you take notice of the progress you’ve really made, you will realize that you are are actually doing a lot right.

I’m going to be the bearer of bad news here and tell you that there will always be someone better than you at most things you do. Does that mean you shouldn’t keep working? Yep. Just kidding. NO!

A little friendly competition is a good way of keeping a fire lit under your butt. However only basing your progress on the performance of those around you is a recipe for endless frustration.

Track your progress and appreciate it.

Oh, and in this case, the person that I was talking to is one of the best at pull-ups in the gym. I can’t even imagine how many people who can squat heavy weights envy his ability to do pull-ups.