Feeling stronger, getting fitter, and reaching new PRs are all satisfying feelings. These are all things we aim to help you accomplish here at our Junkyard Training facilities. But it can be frustrating when you feel like you are doing everything right and yet the results just are not coming. These are called plateaus and there are a few things you can do to try and reduce their occurrence or prevent them altogether.
Pushing yourself too hard too fast is a recipe for burn out as well as a fitness plateau. Of course, you do need to push yourself to improve, but there are balanced ways of doing this. Try keeping a journal of your progress. Whether it be how much you lifted on your last deadlift, how far you ran last, or how close you were able to get to the ground for a split, take note of it. Then the next time you are training, increase resistance, distance, or weight by about 10%. This slow and steady approach will help you to push yourself to new heights without stressing your body out too much.
If you try to improve all your fitness goals at once, odds are you will end up not improving any of them significantly. Instead, try to dedicate 4-6 weeks to improving one area at a time. For example, if you want to get stronger, try following a weightlifting program for a few weeks and let your body adapt and grow. Then, focus on improving another area of your fitness goals, such as endurance, for another set of weeks. Focusing on improving fitness one area at a time for a period and then switching it up will allow you enough time to see progress. Then giving the part of your body that you have been working on a break as you focus on other areas of training will give it the room it needs to recover.
It has been said that you do not grow when you train. Rather you grow when you rest. When you are training you are creating micro tears in your muscle fibers and when you allow yourself to rest, your body is busy building everything back stronger. This is why making rest and recovery an essential part of your training is critical to seeing progress and results. Take time to give your body what it needs. Foam rolls implement low impact activities like walking, and get plenty of sleep in order to avoid those dreaded plateaus.