Taking the Next Step

Workout of the Day--June 16th, 2015

200 Air Squats
100 push ups
Every minute, stop and perform 3 handstand push ups

 
 

Taking the Next Step

As we reflect on the last year and the great progress Catacombs has made, the most rewarding part is without doubt the progress that you, our athletes have made. Many of you came to us looking to make big changes in your life. You quickly lost weight, gave up bad habits, improved your mobility, or established healthier eating patterns. The leaps in your health and fitness were almost visible on a daily basis. You cheered each other's successes, encouraged one another when there were frustrations or setbacks, and challenged us, your coaching staff, to improve our game every day.  Can you still remember those butterflies in your stomach the first time you walked through the door?

Many of you found those early successes sustaining. They kept you coming back because you achieved a new milestone on an almost weekly basis. But what about now? Just like any new skill or exercise regimen, the slope of the curve begins to level out. Adding 10 pounds to your back squat or dropping that last band on your pull ups now seems perpetually out of reach. You have just as many frustrating days in the gym as you have "hero days". How do we deal with the inevitable plateau and the feelings of stagnation that can come with it?

There is no single answer to this one, but I'd like to throw out a couple of ideas and suggestions. I welcome your thoughts and contributions on this as well. The first weapon is in keeping a log book. It is here that you can look back 6 months and realize that you can now deadlift for 5 reps what used to be your 1 rep max. Or, that you used to scale all your 400M runs to 200M runs and now you get through them...even though you still don't like them. Log books provide the benefit of perspective when you think you are stuck in a rut and are no longer improving.

The second idea that I would like to offer is to consider some other factors. While I love the consistency of 4 days a week of CrossFit mixed with some running our mountain biking on the side, week after week and month after month of this routine can take its toll. If you feel like you have hit a plateau or maybe have even lost a little punch, consider taking a day or even a week off. Or even switching to running or biking or hiking for a week. You may find that you come back stronger. And finally, the dreaded nutrition factor. Honestly examine the quality of your food. If you like what you see, then ask yourself if you are eating enough. The standard dietary recommendations are likely not sufficient for hard charging Cross-Fitters or endurance athletes with a CrossFit hobby.

What other ways do you reset when you feel like you've hit a wall in the gym? Post to comments and let us know.