I think we often underestimate the power of 1 pound. We think “oh what’s just 1 more pound?” 1 pound on its own can seem like nothing but try adding 1 pound to a lift that you are already at max capacity at. It makes all the difference in the world. I remember a time when I was stuck on a 78 pound strict press. I tried adding “just” 2 pounds to press 80 pounds and I couldn’t do it. I was so frustrated because I kept thinking it’s just two pounds more. I tried a few more times that day and much to my dismay, I just couldn’t get the bar overhead.
At LAX Crossfit, we are currently about half way through a squat strength cycle. We started by finding what our 1 rep max for back squats and front squats are. Every week we are working on rep schemes that slowly are increasing the load we squat with. When I tested my back squat 1 rep max I was at 165. Every week I have slowly been adding weight to back squats for different rep schemes (like 4×4 or finding new 5 rep max). I can’t expect to do squats at 150 on a Monday that are ridiculously difficult to adding 10 pounds on Friday. It doesn’t work that way. I have no shame in adding 1 pound, which I’ve done. I did 150 one day and 151 the next. It’s a slow climb and I am ok with that. Every pound matters. Whenever I look at that bar and realize I have to squat with it, I get totally anxious and nervous. I think back to the last day I did squats and remember how challenging it was to stand back up with a lot of weight on my back. Adding even 1 more pound trips me out because it’s 1 pound more than what I could barely do before.
That’s the beauty of it. If I always try to go big and add 10 pounds week after week, I would most definitely fail and be stuck on the same weight. Slow and steady wins the race. As freaked out as I get when I add 1 pound, I am successful at the lift. It’s a gradual (and effective way) of increasing the load I can lift. My goal is to be able to back squat 200 pounds and I believe if I stick to this gradual weight increase, in time I will get there.
1 pound in terms of body weight is also significant. Two months ago I changed my diet as part of my plan to shed some lb’s and it is working. Slowly but surely the weight is coming off. I have lost 6 pounds in about 2 months. That seems like a long time to shed “just”6 pounds but it takes so much work and discipline to lose each one of those. I have had to pay attention to the food I put in my body as well as add some more workouts to my routine. With every pound that comes off though, I can see the pay off in the way my clothes fit and the subtle changes in my “trunk” as I so affectionately have started referring to my midsection. I feel lighter and improving at body weight movements like pull ups. So again, slow and steady is the way to go. I want to lose the pounds for good in a healthy way so that they stay off.
We increase strength and change our body composition one pound at a time. Next time you increase a movement by even just 1 pound or lose 1 pound, embrace it. It’s no easy feat.