Feeling Stalled at the Gym?

Let’s talk effort! 

If you’re feeling stuck in progress, it might be time to examine your effort and intention in the movements and workouts you’re performing. 

There are two sides of the spectrum in this area: When you get in the habit of going through the motions at the gym, you always head for the same size kettlebell for every workout, you use the same weight on the barbell no matter what the workout is, and you do all of your workouts at the same pace. 

On the other side of the spectrum, we have always tried to max out our barbell lifts, caring less about tempo and form and more about the weight on the bar. We try to RX workouts and do not pay attention to the stimulus of the workout. 

No matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, both can lead to stalls in progress. For today we’re going to focus on the first: Not pushing yourself enough. 

Maybe every time we have accessory work, you grab and stick with 1 DB; during strength, you don’t keep track of your weights and are hitting the same weight every week, or during WODS you’re finding that no matter the stimulus described, you’re hitting the same pace. 

Here are some ways to get more out of your training: 

Use your whole body. Even if you’re performing something like a bent-over row with half your body on the box, you can keep your entire body tight and focused. Don’t just go through the motions; feel the body working. The same goes for movements like the strict press. Sure, you’re primarily working your shoulders, but squeezing the whole body can really change how it feels. This can be applied to pretty much anything. 

Push yourself on the little movements, not just the big ones. Things like bent-over rows, pullups, and single-leg work can be just as beneficial as trying to get a heavier back squat. Don’t downplay accessory work. Work for the small things. It helps develop strength and leads to more definition in our body. 

Add tempo. If you’re nervous about adding weight, adding tempo can increase the difficulty and time under tension. In fact, as much as you all hate tempo, it’s a fantastic way to build strength. 

Go out the gate too hard. This is something that we don’t encourage for most people, but those that are finding it hard to push themselves can benefit from occasionally going out a little too hot. Do you know how people who are good at pacing learned how to do it? By occasionally failing and going too fast to begin and burning out. You won’t know your threshold until you’ve accidentally surpassed it. Once you learn this point a little better, you will have a much easier time finding your pace for each workout. 

Lastly, GET UNCOMFORTABLE. We don’t want you redlining every day, but that doesn’t mean you should never push yourself. If you find that every time it starts to hurt, you stop moving, try doing 5 more. Need to take a break on the bike? Try 10 more seconds. Little by little, you will learn that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable, and your body will learn to adapt to it better! 

Not sure when it’s smart to push it and when to hold back? Ask a coach or book a goal setting session with us here!