THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT KEY TO BUSTING THROUGH PLATEAUS!
THE MOST IMPORTANT KEY TO REACHING YOUR GOAL…?
A lot of people, including myself, get all caught up in making improvements, so much so we forget the single most important factor in making those improvements…Luckily for us all, this post is here to remind us of what that SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR is.
I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to working out I tell myself “more is better,”…but is it really?
I, like many other people who stay committed to fitness, set the bar very high for myself so that if I can’t reach it, at least I got pretty high…and who doesn’t like getting high? This concept is quite common and is a very good tool to use.
For example, I’ll set the bar to lose 25 pounds so when I lose 15-20 pounds I still accomplished something pretty great.
It’s like when companies price a service. Typically companies have a set price for a service that they then add about 15-30% on top of to cover any hiccups along the way (and/or pain in the a$$ clients).
The point is to try and set a goal that is 15-30% higher/better than your intended goal and then (and here is the most important part of this concept) go all out like the 115-130% goal is your actual 100% goal. This way when you fall 15-30% short of your 100% “surplus” goal you’ll be at your 100% “real” goal…math is fun!
THOUGH IT’S AWESOME, SETTING A SAFETY-NET FACTOR IS NOT THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT KEY TO BUSTING THROUGH PLATEAUS…SO KEEP READING!
REACHING YOUR GOAL – BECOMING BETTER, STRONGER, FASTER, ETC.
So, now that you’re equipped with the safety-net factor tool, lets say you are consecutively hitting your safety-net factor goals…what then?
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the “What then?” is that one day you will plateau and might not even start hitting your non-safety-net factor goal (i.e., the non-inflated goal…i.e., your “real” goal).
And, to be honest my friends, when that day comes (the day you plateau), and be assured it will come, it’ll suck pretty bad!
But fret not, I know there are a number ways to bust through plateaus…but I happen to know the single most important key that is most often overlooked.
PROGRESS DOESN’T MEAN YOU SIMPLY KEEP GOING!
Way too often we find ourselves getting stronger, faster, better, lighter, etc. and we just keep on keeping on.
We think that, “What we are doing is working so I’ll just keep doing it…”
But then, all of a sudden, one day we hit that plateau and we stop losing weight, getting stronger, getting faster, or whatever your goal may be and some of us think, “Well, I guess it’s time to switch it up?” FYI guys, if you are not one of those “some” thinking “It’s time to switch it up” when hitting a plateau, you should be!
So, we switch it up, as we should be doing, but we find we’re still not making progress (i.e., we’re still stuck on the same plateau) and, after weeks of not making any progress, we find ourselves asking ourselves, “What went wrong? What am I doing wrong?”
AND HERE LIES THE ISSUE – IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT WE’RE DOING BUT WHAT WE ARE NOT DOING!!!
HOW AN INJURY OPENED MY EYES
Believe it or not, it took an injury to my good shoulder to realize that I was overlooking the single most important key to busting through my personal strength plateau.
After finishing my first round of my first 21 Day Fix / X3 hybrid I got noticeably stronger shoulders and noticeably better cardio stamina.
So, what did I do?
I did what any good fitness freak would do, I started wanting even greater gains. So I took my newfound strength and went harder!
Well, the next round showed no improvements nor did the following round…so I started thinking “What am I doing wrong..?”
Instead of stepping back to see what I wasn’t doing I simply decided to do “more” of what I was doing. I took my safety-net factor and applied it to weight or reps…and this turned out to be the wrong approach!!!
Yeah, I made sure I was keeping good form and I wasn’t doing crazy weights or reps, and I didn’t even feel the injury happen…but sure enough, two weeks ago I my shoulder started feeling tighter and tighter as the day went on and by Wednesday morning I had lost all mobility in my left shoulder (MY GOOD SHOULDER).
So, I went to the doctor and it turns out I TORE MY BICEP TENDON at the shoulder.
Needless to say I was down and out for a number of days…3 to be exact.
WHAT DID I SEE?
So, there I was, having my 3-year old son help me put on my clothes because I couldn’t even lift my arm high enough to put on my own socks. It sucked!!! And all this because instead of taking a step back to see what I wasn’t doing I just started doing more of what wasn’t working…smart as hell if you ask me, right?
The next few days consisted of me being progressively angrier with myself for letting this injury happen to me. To add to the mounting frustration, by the third day down I was getting more and more anxious to work out.
Injury Day One, I did nothing but try and not think about the pain.
Injury Day Two, I was still thinking about the pain.
Injury Day Three, I started to think of ways I could workout.
Injury Day Four, I had Niña wrap up my shoulder so that my left forearm was snug to my chest and I hit up Triometrics and….
…IT FELT AMAZING!!!!!
My shoulder was still in a bit of pain BUT MY TWO BUM KNEES FELT AMAZING!!!!
I was jumping higher, bending lower, and balancing like…well, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so good and did so much…and it sure as hell wasn’t because of my injured shoulder…and then it hit me…
…IT WAS BECAUSE OF MY “REST” WEEK!!!!!
REST – SO OFTEN OVERLOOKED!
Believe it or not, in a workout regime, one of the most important aspects of the regime is working in rest and recovery into your program.
Yeah, my workout regime had active recovery and rest days built in BUT WHAT I REALIZED IS THAT I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH!!!!
SOMETIMES ONE DAY IS NOT ENOUGH!!!
I had gotten so caught up in my results and breaking through my plateau that I forgot to step back and look at what I was not doing – I WAS NOT WORKING IN ENOUGH REST!
Yeah, typically we shouldn’t take more than one to two days off a week (depending on how extreme your workout may or may not be you may not need any days off), and we typically work those rest days into our workout regime. BUT EVERY THREE OR SO MONTHS IT IS CRUCIAL TO WORK IN A FEW CONSECUTIVE BACK-TO-BACK REST DAYS…and I had forgotten that!
I actually wrote a post about this a long time ago (a post about how 2 weeks off was way too much and how I thought you shouldn’t take more than a week off…read more here if you’d like), but for some reason I was just so caught up in breaking the plateau via muscling through it that I forgot to use my brain!
So in, short, more is not always better when it comes to working out because sometimes more rest days is better…which is still more…so I take that back, more is still better!
IN SUMMATION, REST PEOPLE – IT’S THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT KEY TO BUSTING THROUGH YOUR PLATEAUS!!!