Progress in training can have many different meanings. For the lovers of iron, the best symptom of progression corresponds to a new personal record in squat or bench. But the weight you can load on the barbell is not the only progress that can occur in your journey as an athlete. Even though the final result is the most important thing and we cannot ignore it, be aware that your progress won’t trace a straight line continuously upward during time. More expert and seasoned athletes know that the longer you train, the harder progress becomes.
At the beginning of the learning process, when you have just started a new discipline, improvements are easier and faster. After a certain period of time, when technique is consolidated and you are physically trained, gaining in weights are smaller and this is the moment when struggles start. Every athlete wants to grow in his sport and when it does not happen, most assume that something is wrong. Understanding why your performance is not progressing is not simple at all. Sometimes you have to silence your ego and review your expectations or be able to identify your mistakes or failures. Sometimes progression is occurring but you are not able to see some subtle changes. Little differences are as important as the big ones, especially when you are working with long-term goals. Striving for instant gratification can lead to a stagnation in the future.
Here are some advices to keep on improving during time and to face plateaus:
- Track and monitor your training sessions. Testing is an instantaneous picture of your preparedness that can be affected by various elements, like fatigue, nutrition, sleep, emotional condition and so on. Monitoring during time, instead, allows you to have a more comprehensive view of your progress during time and trace a trend line that have to be upward. In order to have a liable monitoring of the trend of your progress you have to be good in tracking your workouts.
- Pay attention to the subtle differences: quality of your technique and personal feelings. Don’t stop working on form, because a more efficient movement will give you back a better performance. That feeling of confidence and easiness that comes from the full control of the movements is the result of thousand good executions of that movement, so keep on working on it.
- Focus on the weakest points. You are strong as your weakest point. If you have no idea of what your weaknesses are, you risk to keep on strengthening the same strong points, but gains will stop at a certain time.
- Get feedback. Feedback has a huge importance, because they give you information about your performance. In training guesswork is dangerous, so the more detailed and reliable feedbacks are, the better it is. Beast can be a great training partner, because it doesn’t lie, it is reliable and motivates you in every single moment of your workout.
When you feel that you are plateauing make sure that you take a look at your training and where you can add in some variation. Take the first step, do small actions, but be consistent with them and keep on monitoring every change that will occur.