Making Every Rep an Opportunity for Improvement
You should see every repetition you do as an opportunity for improvement. Every. Single. Rep.
The end goal is perfection. But it’s a goal that can never be achieved, because absolute perfection of movement is unrealistic. What is realistic is improvement. Movement quality exists on a continuum. On the far left of our continuum sits movement that causes damage, injury, degeneration. On the far right sits the elusive perfection. Our focus should be not on attaining perfection, but getting closer to perfection. Moving to the right of the continuum.
And here’s how you do that.
Every repetition you do has the potential to make you better or make you worse. When you complete a good repetition, it goes in to the ‘good’ column. Every bad repetition you do goes in to the ‘bad’ column. At the end of every session, day, week, month or year, the balance of good versus bad determines progress. If you’ve done more good repetitions than bad, you have a net gain. If you’ve done more bad repetitions than good, you have a net loss. If the ledger is equal, your progress stagnates.
Human beings love to classify. We like things to be black and white – absolute. And while this binary system is rarely applicable, it can be useful in this context to understand the importance of quality movement when chasing improvement. Every single rep is an opportunity. We make the mistake of focusing on having a good training session, or a good training week. We need to narrow this focus. If we look after the pennies the pounds will tak care of themselves.
So here’s your task. Make the void between the number of good and bad reps as wide as possible. The wider the gap, the faster your rate of improvement.
Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.