You’re Only As Good As Your Last Game
Performance is everything in the sporting world. A world famous athlete once said, ‘I’ll be in the team until they find someone who is bigger, stronger or faster than me, or who does the same job as me for less money. The saying ‘had a bad day in the office’ won’t cut it in the sporting world for too long, be it at amateur or professional level, trying to get away with a somewhat lackluster day on a football pitch (for example) where little was achieved or things just didn't seem to go right is not going to wash. The truth is you get one or maybe two chances (if you’re lucky) to get it right, and if you choke, you generally lose your spot!
Loyalty is a rare commodity in sport, but if by chance you have earned some through consistently good performances, or if your Dad is the manager for example, then there is the possibility that one or two games may be overlooked. However, despite Roger Federer’s absolute dominance in Tennis over the last decade or so, when his game slipped (albeit momentarily) a bit, the number 1 position which he had made his own was unapologetically given to the young and up and coming Novak Djokovic. The thing is, despite winning hundreds of matches prior to his decline, Federer’s ability was judged on his last match. Dips in form happen, we all lose the odd game or match, but eventually people begin to lose faith in your ability.
When you hear a chap say ‘I’m a hard gainer, and no matter how hard I train I can’t seem to get any bigger’, take it for what it is, a subjective opinion on why his/her training isn’t providing what it perhaps could or should. Maybe this a statement that is used as loosely as ‘a bad day in the office’, maybe they just aren’t doing it right…maybe he/she have been performing below par for so long, that even their muscles are losing faith in them.
Supercompensation is a complex term used to describe the improvement and progression that results from progressive exercise. For example, the term muscle memory refers to your muscles ability to restore a previous level of physical capacity having had a short or long break. Your days rest between muscle groups will result in your body reverting to your base level/basal level. Since your body was forced to train harder than ever during your previous session, you effectively smashed down the wall aka your threshold. Consequently, your threshold increases meaning you are able to train harder for longer at your next training session! Therefore if your muscles or energy systems are placed under enough strain for long enough, eventually your body will adapt to meet requirements. So if you’ve hit a bit of a plateau in the gym, maybe all you need to do is change it up a bit, or convince your muscles that they are going to have to grow in order to meet demand! Don’t let those muscles lose faith in you…command them to grow!
If you go in the gym one day with the mindset of ‘I’ll just do enough today’, either turn around and walk straight back to the changing room, get dressed and go home, or shake yourself up and tune in to your session. A sub par session might not be wasted, but your body will only grow as much as you command it to, so don’t rest on the knowledge that you had a good session the day before because that’s gone, what counts and ultimately what you’ll be judged on…is what you do TODAY!