By now, you're probably thinking there are unlimited ways to analyze your training. You're right, there are. To not get lost in the weeds and the minutiae of data (we're sorry if you're already in the weeds), we want to remind you to think bigger. Think about the long-term training objective, not necessarily the ebbs and flows of each individual workout.
Data becomes more reliable over time by looking at big trends.
Typically, when you have a 'bad workout' it's because you didn't hit your desired training numbers or PR a specific lift. Many athletes naturally turn to their metrics to try and find out what went wrong. Here's
The reality: you're not going to find a ton of answers by analyzing the small detail of an individual workout. The idea of using metrics is to understand training on a long-term basis, from weeks to months, and even years. Early in your powerlifting career, it's easy to look at a single session and achieve PRs. But, it's impossible to think each week we can lift more and more, and continuously set new PRs.
The benefit of tracking metrics is to shift your perspective by looking at how training progresses on a larger scale.
Rather than looking at PRs within a singular workout, progress is gauged by looking at whether training weeks and months are giving you greater results; for example, strategically planning higher total volumes and intensities each week over the course of your training cycle, or training in more challenging zones of relative intensity for a greater proportion of your overall volume. Compare weeks and months, and evaluate how these weeks and months relate to your average or all-time training capacities.
When using weeks and months as your standard for progression, then individual workouts become less important.
Whether scheduling workouts such as 5 X 3 @ 80%, 4 X 4 @ 77%, or 7 X 2 @ 83%, those singular training sessions will likely not make a huge difference in terms of managing fatigue and adaptation. Why? Because creating a sufficient stimulus to change strength happens on a much larger scale. It's the growth of volume and intensity long term that's going to allow you to get stronger, not one workout in isolation.
Think bigger. It's the culmination of repeated work over weeks and months that matters. As we track and analyze metrics, you'll begin to realize the variables that have made up past success, which can then be used to structure current training.
Check out our NEXT ARTICLE where we give you a training example of an elite athlete's training!
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