Every athlete worth their salt has hit a plateau. You all know the feeling — suddenly gym sessions feel less productive, gains slow to a crawl, and you start to feel stuck.
Often, the natural response is to train harder and longer, assuming that plateaus can just be powered through, but pushing your body harder when it might actually need to slow down is asking for injury. Injuries aren’t fun for anyone, but if you’re preparing for a competition, race, or big game, it can be a death knell for your training.
Why Am I Hitting a Plateau?
While some plateaus are part of the natural training cycle, others are due to improper training. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in your own drive and push too hard for too long. The result is a burned-out athlete whose body is breaking down instead of building up.
Avoiding bad training habits seems like it should be common sense, but it’s easier said than done. Everyone wants to be the best, and you get there by training, right? So what’s the difference between pushing and pushing too hard? And how do you toe the line without long-jumping over it?
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect formula for everyone, but with an updated training strategy, it’s a little easier to navigate the minefield of training fatigue. As with most athletic advice, this comes with a strong dose of “listen to your body.”
Plateaus and training fatigue generally stem from overdoing it every time you’re in the gym or under-recovering after you go home. (more…)