It happens to all of us – you start your CrossFit journey, and you make YUGE GAINZ for months. You might be seeing tremendous PRs each time we lift, or maybe you wanted to lose weight, and it seems like the weight is peeling off you. Things are GREAT! And then…it stops. Your progress slows or stalls completely, and you feel demoralized, and your motivation evaporates. What do you do next? How do you overcome your plateau?
First, recognize that this is normal. We can’t progress linearly forever, or we’d all have superhuman abilities. If only. When we start out with new movements, we’re wildly inefficient, and therefore expend more calories than needed. This is part of the reason weight melts off people from the get-go. As we get more skilled and more efficient in more movements, we can move more weight. This is one of the 4 ways we get stronger.
The downside, we expend fewer calories. So, weight loss from exercise alone stalls. From a performance standpoint, when we maximize our technique, we exhaust that avenue of getting stronger, and need to turn to one of the other 3 avenues to progress.
What does this look like? For strength work, it means spending more time on accessory exercises that build the muscle groups holding us back. For weight loss (or weight gain), it means focusing on nutrition. For conditioning, it means identifying our weaknesses and fixing them. That might mean we focus on movement capacity – how many reps can we handle before breaking? It might mean focusing on workout strategy and pacing. In a particular metcon, what will be our limiting factor? How do we work around it to achieve the best possible score? Or it might simply mean we work on our mindset. To keep improving, we need to get used to being uncomfortable. And being in discomfort is what triggers our panic response. Preparing ourselves mentally for that discomfort can help us navigate through it.
If you’re not sure what’s holding you back, book a FREE strategy session with a coach and talk about it. We’re here to ask the right questions, to help identify your sticking points, and to help you blast through them. Your limiting factors will change over time as your abilities increase, so this is an iterative process. It’s the whole reason to work with a coach in the first place. Take advantage of it! See you in the gym.