Most people lift weights to look better, improve athletic performance, increase strength, or a combo of the three. In most scenarios, when trying to boost strength there is an increase in load (weight lifted) and when trying to grow muscle the volume is added upon.
What you’re trying to accomplish with ultimately prioritize your keys to success but what I’ve written below should apply to everyone.
More than anything else, if you don’t stick to something you’re going to fail. You’re probably going to have a hard time getting strong at an impressive rate when you don’t like lifting heavy. If you hate it, you probably won’t do it which means you won’t reap the rewards of someone who does lift very heavy. Your goals should reflect the type of training you enjoy.
Maybe someones goal would be to feel a little better and gain a little strength but they despise working out. A random mish mosh of training may actually be best for them so they don’t give up all together. Strength training should follow the overload principle to improve so it shouldn’t involve too much randomness unless of course the individual wouldn’t adhere to any type of structure.
Simply, if you have zero adherence to anything in life its probably not going to turn out very productive for you.
OVERLOAD (LOAD or VOLUME)
Put simply, to overload is to gradually progress over time. Someone shooting for strength gains would want to slowly increase the amount of weight they’re lifting. This may be adding 5lbs to their bench press or 10lbs to their deadlift each week until progress slows or stalls. For an individual trying to build or maintain muscle mass the overload comes from gradually increasing volume. This may be adding a set to each muscle group, each workout on a weekly basis. You may see someone increase their training days from 3 days to 4 days from one month to the next in an effort to raise training volume.
If you’re not getting stronger, if you’re not gradually increasing the volume you can handle in a workout then you’re not progressing.
Mechanics aka form aka technique aka how you perform a lift is very important. There are two main components why this is important. One, you’re less likely to get injured and if you get hurt you can’t train, you’ll probably be sad, eat like garbage, and fall into a funk. Two, you’ll be able to lift more weight if you know what you’re doing. Horrible technique may reduce the amount you’re capable of lifting significantly. When talking about the big 4 lifts (bench press, deadlift, oh press, and squats) they can be very technical and small minor tweaks can make a world of difference.