A gentleman came up to me to chat in between warm up sets at another gym this morning. He asked what I was working up to on deadlifts today. I explained how I hoped I could get the same weight that I lifted the week prior. To this, he remarked “if you approach nutrition scientifically, then you’ll only get stronger each week.” Had I not been in the middle of my workout, I would have loved to discuss this theory with him.

Today, I’d like to focus on his theory of linear progression. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, build muscle, or get stronger, you’ll know that progress isn’t linear. There are many potential reasons for that outside of just nutrition. Sleep, stress, level of focus, cumulative fatigue, and hormones can all affect your results.

Most of us don’t live in a bubble where everything is perfect all the time, so expecting a perfectly linear path of progress is unrealistic. There will be days where your sleep is off or stress is higher.

While some variables can’t be controlled, we can still control what we eat and how we respond to situations. Consistently making small improvements in what we can control will produce long lasting and sustainable progress.

Measuring progress on the daily or weekly basis will often show peaks and valleys. If we zoom out a bit, you’ll see that progress will trend either up or down.

In future posts, we’ll take a closer look at how sleep, stress, cumulative fatigue, and hormones can influence progress as well as how to manage them. We’ll also dig deeper into the science side of nutrition. For now, just keep showing up and giving it your best.

Matthew Hoffman
Level 2 Precision Nutrition Certified