01 Jun How to Get “Unstuck” With Your Fitness Training
We all get there. Stuck in a training rut. Hitting a plateau. Hitting the wall. Your motivation starts taking a dive. It’s not a fun spot to be in, but sometimes, it’s part of the game. The big question is, how do you get ‘unstuck’ and start to make forward progress again?
Nothing is more frustrating than getting stuck, losing your motivation, and not making the progress you want.
Here’s 4 Simple Strategies to revive your training right now and get the momentum going again in the right direction.
- Make sure you’re not overtraining. Overtraining is major detractor of training progress and one that is often overlooked. If you are feeling more tired, fatigued, have bouts of illness, or sustain injury, it’s possible you are overtraining and need a break or reduction. It may be performance decline or decreased desire or fulfillment from training. Overtraining may be due to lack of rest, lack of proper recovery, or even lack of proper nutrition (which I’ll address in just a minute). What do you do? Recognize the signs, as I mention above and scale things back, take some time off to rejuvenate and refresh, potentially take more rest days or cycle your intensity, frequency, or duration. Overtraining or overreaching (short term overtraining) can result in dramatic performance decreases, so make sure you recognize if this is happening to you and make the appropriate changes to get ‘unstuck.’
- Change your workouts, (but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to abort the program!). Workout variety keeps things fun and exciting, that’s a given. While you should vary what you do with your workouts, it doesn’t mean you have to completely switch your program and mode of training all together. For example, training with kettlebells, you could vary your workouts by doing timed programs, kettlebell complexes, double kettlebell work (as opposed to single kettlebell), or do high volume training. These are just some of the different ways you could change your workouts. Or, you could incorporate more barbell and dumbbell work into your program or more bodyweight exercises. There’s many ways to change your workouts continuously without totally changing your core program, I think that’s important to remember. While change and variety is good, keep a good core program, depending on what you’re training goals are, and add or change things to keep it fun and exciting. Why do I say, keep a good core program, you might be thinking? Master the fundamentals, that’s why. If you abandon everything you’ll be the “jack of all trades, master of none.”
- Utilize proper nutrition around your workouts. This is not a should, it’s a MUST! Are you getting the proper peri-workout nutrition you need to optimize your workouts? This is a major subject that I’ll just touch on here. For more information on this, see the great book “Nutrient Timing” by John Ivy. Using proper nutrition before, during, and after your workout is of major importance to properly fuel your training sessions and to maximize post workout recovery. It’s that simple. If you are using the correct combination of protein and carbohydrate supplementation around your workouts, there’s a long list of benefits you’ll get from doing this that will really maximize and energize your training. It’s so critical to do, yet not everyone does this. Here’s a great tip you can easily remember, you have a ‘metabolic window‘ following your training session of approximately 30 minutes post workout. If you use a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein supplement in this time frame, you’ll maximize your recovery from the workout you just did. Protein synthesis will be enhanced and you will capitalize on your hormonal manipulation to promote faster recovery. Again, this is a massive topic and not the scope of this article, but the point is to make sure that you implement proper nutrition around your workouts!
- Accept times of plateau, but realize this is totally normal and things will again progress. Yes, accept times of plateau. It happens. Make sure you’re not overtraining and you are using proper nutrition around your workouts, as mentioned. If you think of a line going up, then leveling off for a bit, then it goes up incrementally again. That’s the training cycle essentially. There’s going to be “level off” periods and this is good time to re-evaluate and make sure your OK, adjust as necessary, then keep going until you start making progress again. Periods of plateau are normal and expected. Having well defined goals or a clear purpose (an event, as an example) will help you to push through these times of plateau and accomplish what you want.
There’s 4 ways to get ‘unstuck’ and get yourself out of a fitness rut. At some point, it’s going to happen, but realize it’s only temporary.
There’s a great quote, “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.” I’ll leave you with that.