How to Break Personal Bests in the Gym Every Time

Updated: October 3, 2012

Mike Foze

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This is a guest post by Mike Foze.

Most guys in the gym go about breaking personal bests the wrong way. They think they can just waltz into the gym and turn on 'H.A.M.' mode like a tap. They think if they 'think' they're going to break their personal best that day, they can.

It doesn't work like that.

The human mind is very complex. We all need ulterior motivations whether we admit it or not. We all need something that gives us that drive.

That FIRE.

Before I get onto actually breaking your personal bests in the gym, let's talk about what it actually means.

It's a warm Monday morning and you're doing bench press. Your previous best was 250 lbs for 8 reps.

Today you manage 260 lbs for the same 8 reps. That would make 260lbs for 8 reps your new personal best. Now here's another problem I'm starting to see with dudes at the gym.

You'll ask them 'What's your personal best at bench press?' and they'll reply with their best. Then you'll find out that their best is a one-rep-max.

A one rep max is trying to push the maximum amount of weight for one rep.

To be honest, if you're not a power lifter I would NOT count that as your personal best. The average gym-goer does not perform one rep exercises. Your personal best should be within the rep range that you do every time you set foot in the gym.

Well, enough about what personal bests are... you want to know HOW you achieve them.

Make Yourself Angry

I'm sure if you've ever been involved in fight you have experienced this phenomena. You're the calmest person in the land, you're not a fighter, nothing fazes you and you simply don't get mad.....until someone says something that pushes your buttons.

You want to fight.

You get MAD.

You become Mike Tyson, Overeem and Bruce Lee rolled into one.

This is the power of anger. Anger can literally turn you into a monster. The reason why this happens is because anger increases your adrenaline level. Your body goes into this mode when it senses danger.

When you're in the French Alps on a two thousand metre high mountain slope skiing down for the first time, you'll be high on adrenaline.

When you're walking alone, at 4am, down a dark alley, you're going to be high on adrenaline.

In a sense, adrenaline is almost a superpower. Your senses become more acute to your surroundings, you're stronger, and you're faster.

It's one of the many wonders of the human body.

But how can this be utilised in the gym?

A great way to KILL it in the gym with anger is to get MAD in the gym. One way I get mad is to remember those years of failure I had before I became somewhat happy with my physique.

I remember the fat rolls when I sat down. I remember the chubby face. I remember sloppy chest. I imagine what I would feel like if I was magically returned that stage.

I get MAD.

We all have insecurities and other things that make us mad. It's your duty to hone in on these and really get your blood boiling.

Create a 'Killer' Gym Playlist

The Zone: What is it?

I believe you can only reach 'the zone' once you are completely in the present. You forget about the past and the future.

All that matters is you and your weights. That's all you know. Having extended conversations, excessive water breaks, and long resting periods all damage your chances of staying in the zone.

Wanna know the best way to stay in the zone?


Create a gym playlist and make sure you only play those selection of songs in the gym. This is so your mind builds an association between the song and killing it in the gym.

Music helps clear your mind of outside distractions. But it's important that you play the right kind of music.

You want hectic music.

You don't really want music that is going to calm you down or make you serene. No Nicki Minaj or Beiber either!

Your Turn

If you follow the steps I laid out for you, you'll be breaking your personal records on lifts in no time.

Of course, it also depends on how much sleep you get, your diet and your training too. ;)

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