You’ve been training for a while and you made some great progress when you first started. Then it started to plateau and you thought that continuing to work at that level is how you get fitter. You stuck with it for a while and then realised you’re getting nowhere. Every time you go to the gym, you work hard and feel like you have given it everything but still can’t step it up. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. We’ve all been there before and sometimes we need reminding of how to get to the next level. Here are 5 tips to help you push past that stalling point and find the next gear in your fitness level.
1. Get serious about everything outside of the gym Mobility, sleep and your diet are all just as important as the effort you put in to your workouts. If you’re going to step up what you do in the gym you need to be able to recover well. The food you eat, the amount of sleep you get and mobility you do will all make a difference as to how quick and how well you recover. If you want that perfect body and want to be able to push harder to get that body or want to increase your performance for the sport of your choice, start by looking into these things and you will start improving quickly.
2. Record your results If you want to improve, you have to know where you came from. To get stronger you have to know what you have lifted previously. This works for achieving bodyweight goals like pull ups or handstands or muscle ups too. Write down your progress and where you would like to improve. Remind yourself of what needs to be worked on by reviewing these journals every time you train that area. We at CrossFit Flourish and Jimboomba Barbell Club have our members record everything in our computer system Wodify. This takes out any guess work for all of their workouts. They know what they have done previously and what they need to do to move forward.
3. Try the things that you want to achieve People ask all the time how to get a muscle up or pull ups or a heavy squat or handstand walks. There’s a long list of movements or lifting targets that people want to achieve. The answer is more simple than you might think… Try it. We as human beings learn extremely well when we make mistakes. If you make a mistake, you learn what you did wrong (or what part you’re not good at) and that gives you the freedom to explore ways to improve it. If you want a strong back squat you have to go heavy to understand where you need to improve. Is it your strength, technique or mobility that is holding you back? A muscle up, is it your strength, technique, mobility or all of the above? You won’t know until you try. Go make some mistakes, have some fun and you’ll learn something new. Enjoy the process and the possibilities are limitless.
4. Stop giving up Whether it’s in a workout, in your diet or in your injured areas (we all have them, stop telling yourself you don’t), the reason that you aren’t making progress is because you keep giving up. It goes in the too hard basket. We, as human beings want results straight away and when that doesn’t happen we give up. The problem with that is, progress requires a build up, an accumulation of multiple lessons you have learned in the brain and the body. Consistency is everything.
5. Learn from someone that knows Mentors are a great tool to have in your belt. Whether it’s professional development or personal development, I believe that everyone should have a mentor. That mentor might be someone you learn something from at a seminar, a friend that has some experience in an area you’re working on, a trainer, a teacher or even someone you haven’t met that has the knowledge to help you out. Seek them out. All you need is a good example from someone that knows. Sometimes just being around that person can be enough to nudge you in the right direction. For example, if I wanted to squat heavy, I would start squatting more often and would get other like minded people to spot me. They can then help me with where I’m going wrong and help me get better by pushing me harder. This applies to many things, you just have to find a way to learn about whatever it is that you’re working on.
To finish this note, I will also say that doing your own research is worth a lot. Youtube, fitness blogs, podcasts… whatever it is that helps you understand the area you’re working on better.
Try these methods to help you reach your next level of fitness. You can be stronger, faster and more mobile than you are now, no matter who you are. Don’t accept mediocrity. Humans aren’t made to stay the same, our body needs the challenge. Get out there and rise to the challenge.