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One Simple Thing You Can Do to Improve Solo Training Sessions

If someone who trains alone most of the time came to me for help and I could only suggest one thing that they could start doing immediately (despite ability level and resources at their disposal) to help improve technique, prevent imbalances/avoidable injury, track progress, stay motivated and even expand their network, this would probably be it:

Take some videos.

I can already imagine some of you cringing and I used to be one of those people too but, over the years, as I’ve learned how beneficial video can be when applied as a training tool, I’ve gotten over it and here are my top reasons why.

  1. Recording yourself allows you to identify faulty alignment and movement patterns so you can make the necessary adjustments and improve your form. This can help prevent injuries and produce more optimal results.

  2. Having a record of your past performances allows you to compare how it started to how it’s going. When the results are positive, this helps you figure out what your body responds well to and keeps you motivated to KEEP GOING. When they aren’t what you had hoped for, you can re-calibrate sooner, saving yourself from wasted time caused by plateaus and imbalances that could have been avoided.

  3. Reviewing video of your sets can also give you good insight into how you’re handling intensity. What things FEEL like vs what they LOOK like are two different things and judging your performance based on both allows you to be more accurately aware of your relationship to fatigue and how you’re managing it during your workouts. * In my opinion, this is one of the hardest things for people to master and one of the biggest reasons for adverse results in the gym.

  4. Knowing that you are being recorded will probably keep you more mindful of what you’re doing. When we are just going through the motions, or we’re distracted by things going on outside of the gym, we can get sloppy but when we know the camera is rolling, it can help inspire more focus and intention.

  5. Your videos can be a valuable educational tool when you share them with more experienced lifters & athletes. Coaches and mentors who have expertise in the areas where you are trying to improve can use your film to help you improve and keep you encouraged with constructive feedback.

  6. Finally, if you are the type that does like to share your journey, video can help you connect with like-minded individuals with whom you can exchange tips and ideas and broaden your experience overall.

In summary, recording yourself can feel a little uncomfortable or seem insignificant, but when you don’t have a coach or partner to keep a second set of eyes on you, taking even a few casual videos from time to time can help you learn more about yourself, improve your effectiveness and accelerate your results in the gym. If you ask me, well worth the few extra minutes your next workout might take.

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