How Do You Know If You Are Making Progress At The Gym?

How Do You Know If You Are Making Progress At The Gym?

Share it!

This is a question that I do receive a lot. 

Making progress in the gym is what we all want.

Some like to build muscle; some like to lose fat; some want to lift more weight….

Some want it all!

But how do we know if we are moving forward in our routine and not backward? 

The most significant sign that you are making progress in the gym:

You will start seeing incremental changes, not in your physique initially, but in the amount of “volume” that you can move. Volume= sets x reps x weight… we can also add in rest time as to this as well.

Over the weeks of consistent training, you will likely not realize that things will start to become more comfortable. Still, you absolutely will be lifting more of one of the above “volume” metrics. Being able to see your incremental changes is why it is so essential to log your routine, including rest meticulously. By doing this, you will be able to see gradual improvements.

In addition to volume increases, here is an example of what I like to call “weather vs. climate.”

Climate is the overall trend of patterns on average from year to year.

Weather happens daily (will it rain or will it be cold today).

The weather is not very accurate, but climate is very accurate.

Where I am going with this: You need to log your day-to-day over some time to know if you are improving on average. Your day-to-day may go up or down from Monday to Wednesday in the same week, but your 3-month volume trend WILL increase from day 1 to day 120 with regular exercise.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Check Out Our FREE Ebook! Guaranteed to Help You  Understand How To Move Better!

Treat yourself ebook

Other Related Blog posts

Share it!
Top Reliable Ways That Can Help Decrease Your Back Pain Right Now!

Top Reliable Ways That Can Help Decrease Your Back Pain Right Now!

Share it!

Your lower back is one of the most injured body parts in humans. It is also the second most common cause of disability in the United States. It was estimated that roughly 1/10 people suffer from chronic low back pain lasting for greater than 3 months, and about 80% of Americans will have back pain at some point in their lifetime.





As the graphic (above) indicates, there is considerable load placed into the low back with slouching standing positions, HOWEVER, the greatest load placed into the lower back comes from poor posture in SITTING.

The Quadratus Lumborum

A pain in the back

The above image is a picture looking at your back without the superficial muscles. Notice how big this muscle is?

The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) is a huge part of why your back can hurt. Let me explain.

In the presence of back pain, the QL can tighten which can give you the sensation of either specific or diffuse pain in your back. 

Sound familiar?

What to do about your back pain?

It has been shown numerous times that conservative management consisting of properly controlled exercise and other Physical Therapy interventions are equally as effective, or even more effective than surgery for treating back pain. Some of my favorite tips and trick for back pain are:


1. Try to get up and move every now and then before your back starts hurting.

2. Try to use this exercise on the side of your bed!

3. Ensure that you do not stop moving in the presence of back pain.

4. Really think about what caused your pain… Was it too much sitting? Too much Standing? Too much movement? Now try and do a little bit of the opposite of what caused your pain.

5. If you haven’t yet, please join our new Facebook Group for Free resources:

Auto-Ness Therapies Performance Group

Benefits of Physical Therapy 

  • Potentially avoiding a painful surgery that requires one to miss work or hobbies.
  • No complications from surgery.
  • YOU become educated precisely WHY your back is hurting.
  • Most Importantly, you get your life back.

Check Out Our FREE Ebook! Guaranteed to Help You Better Understand Your Core!

Treat yourself ebook

Get My Top Exercises To Help With Your Back Pain!
Please fill out the information below.

Other Related Blog posts

Share it!
100 burpees a day for 50 days

100 burpees a day for 50 days

Share it!

Top 5 things that I learned from doing 100 burpees a day for 50 straight days.



  1. Burpees suck…… especially 5000 of them

They are likely the worst and least fun part of most people’s regime…

  • But just like with your math classes in grade school, you should probably be working hard in the area that you dislike the best.


  1. Making time is hard
  • As with most people, I have a lot of things going on (including planning a wedding). I, like everyone reading this HAVE NO TIME! I had to plan my day to the minute to get the burpees in on some days…
  • But guess what? I was able to through good planning!


  1. Consistency is everything
  • I had a tough time with this….
  • As with most things in our culture, we are great at going overboard on something for 3-4 days, and then no more until next year… not this time.
  • I made it a point to accomplish this


  1. This has made me a much better planner.
  • Have you ever planned to do something on a Saturday, and Sunday comes and you said to yourself “dang! I forgot that I was supposed to do that yesterday…”
  • This happens to me all of the time
  • I had to plan plan, plan, plan for this to be consistent


  1. This has rid me of almost every ache in my body.

Throughout my (almost) 30 years, I have been diagnosed with:

  • 2 herniated Lumbar Disc’s
  • 1 separated shoulder

But I have had:

  • 0 pain within 7 days of starting these burpees.


The challenge of started with 2 goals in mind:

  1. To teach myself discipline by completing 5,000 burpees.
  • I have done a lot of things involving exercise before but have never been this consistent with exercise.

This has been amazing and I feel great!


  1. To show everyone reading this article that exercise is not complicated, bad, or bad for you.
  • My joints didn’t erode
  • My body is not “torn apart”
  • This took me about 8 minutes max to perform.





This journey has taught me so much about myself and the thing that I love so much, the human body. I can now implement some of these things to make my life more efficient.

More importantly….

Hopefully this article will empower you to move more freely, take control of your health and have a good time doing new things with your body.


Thank you for being with me on this journey!



Please join our Facebook Page for other blog posts and fitness tips!



For more queries and information, feel free to contact me.

Other Related Blog posts

Share it!
Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

Why Does My Shoulder Hurt?

Share it!


In my time as a Physical Therapist and a Strength Coach, shoulder problems have been a prevalent issue for many people.

In this article, I will not show you how to fix a shoulder issue (If you would like this content, please find an upcoming seminar in your area here!). BUT I will explain WHY your shoulder might be hurting and how it likely has nothing to do with exercising….



I know what you are thinking…

“Dr. Matt, when my shoulder first started hurting, it was in the gym, so working out must have caused the problem, right?”


Probably NOT. Let me explain.


As you can see, your shoulder is an extremely complex area. There are a lot of tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, cartilage, and surfaces that are involved. All of this must work together and adequately EVERY SINGLE TIME THAT YOU RAISE YOUR ARM. If something is not working right, gets pinched, or is out of alignment, you can get pain… this builds up over the years and not days… and …….




We will be going deep into posture in the future, and those of you who have heard me speak in any seminar that I have held in San Diego, you already know that my view on posture is that there is nothing wrong with the posture on the above left, however, if you have shoulder pain, might need to be more mindful about posture.


The reason why certain postures might be bad for your shoulder is that your shoulder joint does not have adequate room to move when you have a forward head and rounded shoulder.

Below I have an image of me trying to raise my arms overhead. Notice the posture on the left (“good”) and on the right (“bad”).

See how in the above picture, I am not able to raise my arms very high? This is because my rounded shoulders put the entire joint in a sub-optimal position.

Here is another image with a “poor posture” and what can happen on the inside of your shoulder.


As you have less space in your shoulder joint, things can get pinched and can cause shoulder pain. Again, this happens over the years of a certain posturing, not necessarily overnight.


To learn more about shoulder pain and dysfunction, please attend my seminar on January 25th at Evolve Fit Studio in Scripps Ranch.

 Click to watch the Seminar Replay


The information presented in this document is for educational purposes only. Please do not take this information as medical advice. Please consult your Physical Therapist or Primary Care Professional prior to performing ANYTHING IN THIS DOCUMENT.

Other Related Blog posts

Share it!
How Do I Start Exercising?

How Do I Start Exercising?

Share it!

How to Start:

    Many have reached out to me asking “how do I start exercising in the new year?”

    I have decided to compile a list to get you started:

    1. Join a gym that has free introductory sessions that show you how to use some machines.

    Free weights (dumbbells or barbells) are typically much better for you than machines due to how they mimic your daily life, but machines are a great way to learn new movements!

    2. Find a personal trainer that fits your goals!

    Invest in yourself! Find someone to show you the ropes. Even if it is only for a few sessions, your body will thank you for investing in your technique to prevent injury!

    3. P90X or other home workout programs.

    These programs are great for those who have limited time!

    You can get a 30 minute workout without worrying about a commute to and from the gym!

    4. Walk during your breaks.

    Exercise does not have to be complicated! Everyone has 5 minutes to walk during a lunch break

    5. Join group fitness classes in your gym.

    Some gyms offer free exercise classes! If you are already paying for a gym membership, this might be a great option.

    6. Come to a free class at Evolve Fit Studio in Scripps Ranch. 

    Our Gym offers amazing fitness classes for those of you who live in San Diego! Mention Me (Dr. Matthew Perry) and you will receive a FREE small group training class

    7. Try to find movement that you love!!!!

    Remember, you will not continue with a program that you do not like… Find the one you love!

      For more queries and information, feel free to contact me.


      The information presented in this document is for educational purposes only. Please do not take this information as medical advice. Please consult your Physical Therapist or Primary Care Professional prior to performing ANYTHING IN THIS DOCUMENT.

      Other Related Blog posts

      Share it!