This subject is always a tough one because the true answers to the question “how do I increase my performance?” will probably involve you doing a whole plethora of things that you didn’t really want to be told to do! In fact, it’s probably safe to say that increasing performance has more to do with putting on the breaks and doing LESS than it does overdoing things and burning yourself out. That’s not often what people want to hear, because we’ve almost become accustomed to associating doing more with achieving more, but that’s rarely the case when it comes to physical performance.

Here are a few simple but genuinely vital tips for ensuring your performance is able to not only maintain it self at a high level, but also continuously evolve…


This one’s really, really boring. Honestly though? It’s probably the most important of all of the ingredients you need to bake the perfect high performance cake, second only to staying well hydrated. When you sleep your cells repair, your body builds, and pretty much everything you’ve done during your training sessions gets secured, cemented and developed. In order to truly achieve this progression, you need to enter REM (rapid eye movement) sleep mode, and that only takes place after you’ve been in a continuous state of sleep for 4 or more hours. Every second in REM mode counts, and helps you to become a better version of you. If you’re one of those “I can survive on two hours sleep and I’m fine” people, then take note of this; you aren’t doing yourself any favours!


We’ll be saying this to people until the cows come home, but the reality is that if you don’t drink enough water, then none of the chemical reactions that take place in the body and are completely vital to your training progression will be able to take place, as such, that means no muscle building, no fat burning and pretty much no progression whatsoever. We’re not saying NOTHING at all will happen if you don’t drink enough, but your efforts will certainly be diminished, and you deserve better than that. Drink at least 2.5 litres per day!

Rest days

Yep, you evolve more at rest than you do with an enormous weight over your head. This is a hard one for most people to grasp, and it simply gets shunned off more often than not, but it’s completely true; you MUST incorporate at least a couple of rest days per week into your routine, otherwise your cells won’t recover, your central nervous system will stay in a constantly suppressed state, and you simply wont grow, repair or progress. Learn to relax!

These three tips are the absolute cornerstones of gym based progression, and if you ignore them, then you may as well completely close your eyes to the idea of progression and development. You’re working hard enough as it is, so don’t be careless when it comes to paying serious attention to these aspects of your training. They’re actually more important for achieving your goals than the sessions you perform in the gym.



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Betsy Smith

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