How to sabotage your gains.
Welcome to one of my completely non-exhaustive, random, yet (hopefully) helpful lists. This particular one will focus on the behaviors that I believe some of you are doing to sabotage your gains. You may be doing some of it on purpose but probably are more likely doing this stuff on accident, and through pure obliviousness. So read through, see which one or more points you fall under and… fix that ish! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
1. You are doing too much. [overtrain vs volume]
I’ve read a few articles on this subject but the fact of the matter is we live in a time where instant
gratification is a priority. That being said, if you want results right now then get used to disappointment. you need to choose a program and stick to it. Period. A few things go into this though, a list within a list if you will..
- If you pay for a program online or buy in to one, then do it and only it. Trying to do a competition blogs programming coupled with a strength program from another site and a ‘little extra’ programming of your own is a good way to overdue it, real quick like. Volume within a program can be your friend, volume in regards to your programs is absolutely not. Pick one and stick with it!
- If you think your gyms program isn’t enough then maybe it isn’t, but there is a reason it’s a gym and a reason you are a computer programmer or trader or barista, etc. remember, if you made a solid choice in gyms and you respect the coaches and programmer of said gym, then trust they aren’t wasting your time. They have a plan, experience, and plenty of knowledge to get a normal gym-goer where they want to be. So, sit back and put forth 100% effort and I bet things will fall in line. But let’s say it isn’t the right fit for you. You realize you’re not reaching your goals or have become stagnant. First and foremost, always look to yourself (am I eating correctly, am I focusing on the right things like technique first then intensity, etc.) if you feel you are putting your best foot forward and not getting what you paid for then take your money elsewhere. It’s not impossible that your gym sucks but I must reiterate to make sure that your focus is in the right places before giving up something good.
- If you do your own programming, then read, read, and read some more because there is always someone out there that knows more than you and you can learn from them. Always keep an open mind. Never think you have the holy grail of programs and damnit don’t overdue it like person A.
2. You don’t plan the bulk of your meals.
This is actually a big deal that is very often overlooked. Weekends are a great time to cook, prepare, and
package the bulk of your meals. It may take some time but will pay off exponentially. All too often when lunches or snacks aren’t planned then crappy food and poor choices are made. Running down to the closest local place disguised as ‘health’ food becomes way too easy. So take the time and plan the bulk of your meals in advance. Not only will it help keep you in line with your gains, it will probably save you money too.
3. You test, test, test.
This goes back to number 1 on the list. When it comes to programming, make sure your program is progressive in nature. If you are constantly testing, day after day then plateus are right ahead. The bulk of your training days should be about building strength not testing it. Please don’t mistake this for never testing, depending on the nature of your program you should be testing something at minimum every 12 weeks, if not 8 and in some extreme cases 4 weeks.
4. You stay tight and immobile. [flexibility vs mobility]
If you were to put a group of lifters/crossfitters/etc through a yoga class, you’d probably get a pretty good chuckle. That doesn’t mean we are immobile, inflexible maybe but not immobile. Flexibility is one thing but solid body awareness/movement should always be a focus, and extreme flexibility isn’t necessary to move safely and effectively through good ROM (range of motion). Focus on the small things that help your movement patterns. Things like strengthening imbalances, foam rolling for tight muscles, and stability in joints. Everyone has problem areas when it comes to mobility, spending time on correcting those problem areas is the only way to better them. Remember, if it took you 10 years of sitting at a desk to get tight enough to not touch your toes then it’s going to take much longer than 1 week of stretching to gain that mobility back. Put in the effort!
5. You don’t plan clear and measurable goals.
Let’s talk about goals. If you are going in the gym day in and day out with nothing written down that you want to achieve then you are doing it wrong. Figure out what you want out of your fitness and Write. That. Ish. Down! These goals should also be clear and measurable, not something like “I want to be able to play with my kids”. First, that’s cute and awesome but what does that equate to? Sitting on your butt and throwing a ball for your kid to “fetch”? (I’m not sure how kids function nowadays, my bad). But I can do that with no training whatsoever. Instead think of it more like being able to safely deadlift 135#, then you know you can pick your kids up, your laundry, and possibly a big rock and not have to worry. That is clear and measurable.
If in the long run you have no idea, you are just stumped, then look around for some helpful resources. Google it, talk to a friend, or most importantly go to your gym owner/trainer and have a sit down. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help