If you’re anything like me, you’re hard on yourself. You have big goals and are not afraid to get your hands dirty. You’re a hard-driver and ready to kick ass. This is a great mindset to have, I love it! However, when it comes to strength and fitness it can go too far. Anyone that‘s been in the iron game long enough will tell you that strength/muscle gains are not linear, rather they are cyclical. That’s why the 5×5 program works up to a point; eventually, you are no longer simply able to add 5-pounds to the bar.
If it were that simple, you’d have world records being broken daily. We all hit that inevitable plateau. It’s part of the process, we’ve all been there. The key is to formulate a strategy to work through it, not to beat yourself up about it.
When I first started training for the StrongFirst Sinister Challenge, I was all about the weight. Until I could single-arm swing the 48KG (106 lb.) “Beast,” I felt like I wasn’t really training for it. Along the way, I experienced a couple of minor injuries and setbacks. They were of course frustrating, but great things happened during the process.
- I learned much more about the movements.
- I learned much more about myself.
- I made small, incremental improvements.
When I first started, I was returning from a lower back injury. On top of that, the pressure of the heavy kettlebell hurt my forearms to the point where they were getting sore and swollen. While my progress with weight was slower than I wanted, My back feels 100% better and my forearms feel great again. Not only that, I own each position and have become more skilled at the movements.
It can be very easy to get caught up in the numbers. Don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole like I did. Weights and reps aren’t everything. Strive to perform each movement at a high level and progress at your own pace. The struggles along the way will make the success that much more rewarding.
Train your body. Feed your mind.