Consistency before intensity is critically important for any gym goer. When it comes to training, we really need to appreciate that it is a stress and repair model. When we exercise, we stress tissues and with recovery and adaptation we repair and raise these tissues to new levels. However, adaptation doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time. Thus, we need to be consistent with our training and exercises before we can raise the intensity. Submaximal, consistent load exposes the tissues to stress without creating too much damage. The constant exposure allows for the tissues to adapt to a point that will allow for the handling of greater intensities. Think of consistency as building the base and foundation of a building and think about intensity as increasing the building’s height. You can only build a building as tall as its foundation can handle. If you don’t spend time building the base and focus on intensity before you establish consistency, there is a chance the infrastructure won't be ready for the loads you are about to place on it.
Progress doesn’t only come in the form of lifting heavier and heavier weights. Progress means progress...so doing something that couldn’t be done in the past. Progress should be relative to the phase and cycle you are in. For example, during a volume cycle if you lift more volume than you ever have before, then that’s progress! If you are in a power cycle and move something faster than before, that’s progress! Also, progress doesn’t just mean just looking at how well you did today… but what about a week or a month? For example, progress might mean you lifted more times this month that you did in the past, you lifted higher percentages this month than you ever have, you took more lifts at 90% 1RM this month. All in all, progress is progress so don’t always get so caught up in trying to lift more weight.