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Chasing the goal. by Jeff Edwards CSCS, USAW National Coach

There’s a secret to faster performance improvement that nobody is trying to sell you. It’s not in any supplement, and no shoes have it either. It’s critical to all improvement in the gym or in competition but it’s not something anyone can hand you. So what’s the secret? Desire. It sounds like a silly obvious answer, but the secret is those who really make consistent improvement aren’t just chasing the next PR. They’re chasing their last flaw. That one thing they haven’t mastered yet.

Their desire is mastery. Chasing PR’s is an important goal. You have to really push yourself to lift heavier or go faster, to aim for a big number and really reach outside your comfort zone for it. The problem is the focus becomes the number and often things are sacrificed in an effort to succeed, essentially “at any cost”. This makes it easy to develop bad habits and skip important accessory work/skill practice in a single minded tunnel vision of heavy lifting. A desire for mastery gives the lifter a more impartial view of a successful or failed lift as not a personal success or failure. Instead a lift is a test where the outcome points to the weak link in the chain.

Those chasing mastery grab an empty bar and practice, do 30 extra minutes of accessory work to build up their weaknesses, and can fail a lift without it effecting their attitude and effort on the next attempt. I challenge you to make your goal mastery. Ask yourself, have I given my best effort to master these movements?

Jeff Edwards

- National Coach USA Weightlifting - Crossfit Coach of individual and team competitors - Outdoorsy nerd - Owner and Head Coach at BR Fit Club