Front Squat: 2-2-2-2-2
MetCon – For total time:
Tabata Row or Bike
Immediately following the last 10 second rest perform 30 burpees AFAP
I don’t know about you guys, but when I start something new – I want to see results. If the results are to my liking I will probably continue, and if not I will most likely stop. If the results are highly visible and noticeable, I am usually inspired and encouraged to continue forth…but when results slow down, motivation tapers as well. And so goes the way of our training.
Learning to exercise properly (in a safe and mechanically efficient way) is an extremely important part of any athlete’s fitness, no doubt. I believe this could be considered the first challenge or “hump” in any athlete’s career. For some, developing the habit of coming to the gym and exercising is hard to tackle, and for others, not as much. Now before I move to the meat and potatoes of the post, please don’t take what I’m going to say out of context – I absolutely thrive off seeing people change their life when they start making exercise a habit(especially when it dramatically changes their quality of life and overall health and wellness). However, one could make the argument that, for many, this is the easy part of learning to train. As time goes by and noticeable improvements decelerate, daily and weekly inspiration may taper off. Depending on an athlete’s physical capabilities when starting, this deceleration may start six months, one year or three years into a training regimen. This other part of training – the one that follows learning to exercise, is more critical to the longitudinal gains of any athlete. This is the second, and in my opinion harder, “hump” of learning to train.
As I stated earlier, when experiencing monumental fitness gains, inspiration and encouragement are easy to come by. With all things, the “honeymoon phase” of training eventually subsides, and what was once fun and easy becomes challenging and difficult. This “second hump” is a different challenge than the first. Progress slows down, or even feels like it has stopped and you’re left thinking “Why am I doing this, anyway?” Squatting anything less than a previous PR on a max day is a hard thing to swallow the first time, and this is where many athletes think something is wrong or may simply quit. Just because you don’t hit a personal best every time doesn’t mean something is wrong. (Hopefully all of you out there in Internet-land have great coaches, because the planning and direction a coach gives to their athlete is absolutely paramount to continue progress. Strength SHOULD continue to increase in the grand scheme of things. My point is that PRs won’t continue to happen every time you make an attempt. Although athletes aren’t aware of what is specifically going on in their programming, it’s okay to ask your coach…but only if you’re interested in really knowing. It could take a lot of time. I don’t want to derail the topic, so that is a different post for a different day.)
So how do you mentally get “over the hump”? Great question – and it might not be so much of getting over the hump, but more of getting used to it. However, I do believe that when an athlete understands that training on any given day will not tilt the axis in their overall strength or fitness, and only through consistent week-to-week and month-to-month practice and dedication will they see substantial gains, and THEN continues with ambition and tenacity…it is then they will begin truly learning how to train.
The law of diminishing returns applies to training, and it’s easy to understand. Your squat isn’t going to increase by 50lbs each year until the day you die. For those of you who are experiencing exponential gains in all aspects of your fitness, be mindful that this will eventually slow down. And when it does, don’t get discouraged – get tough. Celebrate that you’ve made it to this “second hump”, but make the commitment for the long haul and set goals for the same. Learn to train. Every day. Every week. Every month.
As G always says, “Every day you spend in the gym is simply a sentence you are writing in the novel of your health, wellness, and fitness”. So what is more impressive to you: an athlete’s squat increasing 100lbs over the course of the first 18 months of squatting, or the mere fact that an athlete has been squatting heavy for 8 years consistently regardless of gains in the past three months? I would argue the latter, although both are pretty legit.
Learn to train,