How many of us get to a point in training where we feel everything has plateaued? You retested a former max lift only to achieve the same amount of weight. You went for your weekend run but it felt just as hard and took just as long as last week. You come in everyday and feel sore/beat up and the looming state of regression. There are hundreds of scenarios in training where we have reached a road block and do not have the path towards continued success.
Most of the above states and feelings can be conquered by mapping out your success. There are a few ways I’d like to highlight that can set you on a better path to achieving your goals – control, mindset & communication!
Setting your mind on controlling the outcome of your training sessions will help immensely. Having 1 workout every week or even every other week where you go “full send” and lose that control is not a bad thing, but these are the sessions focused on showcasing your gains, not necessarily creating new ones. The vast majority of our sessions should have a clear goal from start to finish with a way in which we can keep the central nervous system (CNS) in check. Tools can be used to make sure our sessions compound on each other for continued betterment. Tools can include: Using the timer to keep yourself on specific intervals/pacing, choosing your weights/standards before the session even begins to accommodate the stimulus of the session, taking specifically timed breaks periodically to control your breathing & heart rate, moving/pacing differently depending on the specific stimulus of the session, etc. All of these methods foster a clear intention for each day of training that builds more roads to your overall goals. To take it one step further you may attempt to make the stimulus of most of your classes different from the one we program if it better helps you achieve your goals. Recognize that sometimes you will need to tweak the workout parameters to ensure they line up with your specific/individual goals. By implementing these practices you will guarantee that the CNS gets taxed, but is able to use that tax as building blocks towards your overall athleticism unhindered by poor recovery.
Focus on the goals you have overall, the ones you have for the current training cycle and the ones you have for the specific session you are completing. Furthermore, set little goals for each stage of your training session and be adaptable in creating and changing your goals mid workout. Approach your workout from a place of positive growth focusing on the small successes you can have in your session that can lead to bigger ones overall. Ponder the new paths you have accessed through consistently showing up and regimenting your training. Think about adaptability in starting the workout with one standard and being willing to switch to a new standard for continued movement. Let’s face it, most workouts are tough/challenging and can feel quite intimidating but we always get to the other side embracing the sweet relief of the stretch/cool down. In addition to a positive mindset you will benefit from letting the different emotions run through you. It is okay to get upset/frustrated/angry in workouts. Acknowledge these feelings and from there move on to how you can adjust your current situation to move past them. Listen, just a little, to some of the self doubt/negativity and really assess where it is coming from to better understand the correlation between the inability to persevere in a workout vs. your CNS attempting to tell you that you’ve done too much/over trained. We tie a lot of emotion to our training and goals, so it is okay to feel both the positive and the negative, but the positive will always be more constructive.
Of course, the best aid in gaining control of your sessions and building a positive mindset is communication with your coach! As coaches we absolutely love fostering an interactive experience where the coaches and members collaborate to achieve all goals.If you talk with your coach during the class and you share your specific focus for the day then we will be better equipped to get you there. In addition, by telling us you are “time framing your rounds” or “challenging the standards” or “making it a performance/showcasing day” it will allow us to guide you without forcing you off the intended path. This interaction will ensure that we don’t accidentally push you past your threshold for the session or hinder your ability to recover in time for the next one. You can use us as tools to achieve the outcome you are looking for through our guidance and history with you. We can work together to build stronger foundations and clearer paths. You must also be willing to tell us when our guidance may put you at risk of falling off the intended path and especially if our cues/guidance is coming from a place of quick observation vs prior communication (i.e. coach yells at you to sprint the end, but you chose to make today’s session a strength day or rest day rather than a speed day). The tools above are just a few ways to make sure you come out of your sessions feeling a sense of overall betterment. Use them during the session to determine if you are in a state of diminishing returns/maxing thresholds/over taxing the CNS so you can adjust/adapt your strategy OR simply stop the session for the day. Maximizing your potential will only occur when you start setting the path for the success you desire!