Last March, our former coach wrote a blog post called Something Is Better Than Nothing. In the post, Chris talked about his and his wife Lianna’s difficulties in keeping up their fitness routines after becoming parents.
You should read that post. It’s pretty awesome and has great tips for working out when you literally only have five minutes at a time because you’re prioritizing other parts of your life, like shelter, water, and keeping a tiny human alive.
I want to take the idea a step further today. What if you’re going to the gym regularly, but aren’t seeing the results you want? There are two things that might help you when you’re facing the discouragement of a plateau: one practical, and one philosophical.
Practical: review goals and invest in personal training.
Did you know that we offer personalized training and programming at CrossFit Sabertooth? Each coach has their own strengths, and would love to help you meet your goals within that area – whether it’s powerlifting, gymnastics, olympic lifting, nutrition, endurance, or all of the above.
If you’re new to CrossFit, your first step is to head to http://www.crossfitsabertooth.com/free-intro to set up your own free, personalized intro session. (Reminder: CrossFit is for everybody and every body, and you don’t have to be fit to start!)
If you’re a current member, chat with a coach to set up a free goal review session. You’ll sit down in a private meeting with a CrossFit Sabertooth coach to discuss your current goals and set up a concrete plan on how to achieve those goals. (This is super helpful, by the way. It helped me change my goal from “be an Olympic figure skater despite being an overweight 33-year-old who has never worn a pair of figure skates in her life” to “hit an 80-lb squat snatch by the end of the year.”)
Then you can work with a coach on personalized programming. We have a variety of options to fit every goal and budget! You can ask a coach to simply program one workout per week for you, or you can get workouts for every day and meet one-on-one for extra guidance.
Here’s my own shameless plug: I’ve been working on Olympic lifting with Coach Tim for four months, and though my PR hasn’t increased, we have started the transformation in my form that will allow me to lift much more in the future. Check out this before-and-after:
Being stuck at the same weight brings me to the second part of your plateau transformation.
Philosophical: live this mantra: something is better than nothing.
Here’s the thing: there is a strong link between your mental fitness and your physical fitness. When you are discouraged, depressed, anxious, and stressed, your body can release too much cortisol, and this can cause myriad problems. It can weaken your immune system and cause you to be exhausted, bloated, irrationally hungry. You can have trouble regulating your temperature, and easily gain weight. All of these things hamper your goals!
Try this. Try shifting your mindset away from “I MUST hit that goal” and toward “It would be cool if I did, but something is better than nothing.”
This doesn’t mean you’re giving up! It means that you reframe your definition of success and redirect negative ruminations. “My *%*$&*% bench press is the same as it was six weeks ago!” becomes “Wow, my bench press is the same as it was six weeks ago – imagine how much less I’d be able to lift if I hadn’t been working on it for six weeks!”
This isn’t easy, and you might feel like a saccharine-sweet Pollyanna the first few times you try it. But if you keep working on reframing your negative thoughts and redirecting your ruminations, you can literally halt the overproduction of cortisol in its tracks.
NOTE: If you struggle with a persistent mental illness – particularly depression and anxiety, which affect nearly 20% of the U.S. population – you won’t be able to simply talk your way out of cortisol overproduction and serotonin reuptake. Your first step is to meet with your doctor and a therapist. There is no shame in obtaining treatment for an illness, especially if that illness is invisible to others!
Between working with a coach and trainer and reframing your negative thoughts, you CAN get back on track with your goals. If you’re new to CrossFit Sabertooth, set up your own free intro session HERE. If you’re a current member, schedule a goal review session HERE. If you are happy with your programming, but want advice on getting in a better headspace, feel free to reach out to to a coach or a gym regular! I have personally struggled with discouragement, depression, anxiety, cortisol overproduction, disordered eating, and debilitating injuries, so you are more than welcome to contact me if you’d like to chat about how personal training and the something is better than nothing mentality have transformed my own life.
Keep on keeping on, Sabertoothers!
– Social Media Dudette Vern