Ever having one of those days/weeks/months…years?
You are doing your best to keep training.
You are making the time for it.
You are consistently putting in the work.
“Working those weaknesses.”
But it feels like you’re treading water, stuck in limbo, never moving forward.
Exercise and training bring so many positive benefits to your life, but sometimes it feels like for all the work we put in, we aren’t progressing as quickly or as far as we would like.
And sadly, the longer we train for, the harder it is to fight for that extra 1kg, the extra 10 seconds off our times; the law of diminishing returns is in full effect.
I was having a conversation with a member of my gym only two weeks ago about this very topic, how they felt they hadn’t made any progress, weren’t getting any stronger or fitter anymore and maybe they needed to look for something different.
I encouraged them to take a step back, and actually look at how far they had come since they started training.
They thought about it, and realised they wouldn’t recognise the person they used to be if they passed them in the street.
I’m not talking just about a difference in body composition or how they look, but their attitude towards life and mental outlook has arguably improved far more than their body.
And this person has made a DRAMATIC improvement in their body composition.
We encourage people to focus on performance and not looks, the process and not the outcomes.
The outcome is not always in our control, but the process is.
One of my favourite quotes about training comes from the great man John Welbourne, of NFL and Power Athlete Fame.
“Training is like moving a pile of dirt-some days you get a shovel, and other days you get a spoon but as long as you get to move a little dirt every day, you are moving towards your goal.”
Even on the days where it feels like you have a spoon, you have to remember that progress is being made.
Normally I am the first person to discourage use of more aids, knee sleeves, wraps, tape…..but I’m going to be a hypocrite for a second in aid of the greater good!
I have a saved photo on my phone of a post that Alethea Boon (Commonwealth games gymnast/weightlifter/CrossFit Games athlete) has posted on her instagram over the years.
Every single session she does, she takes the tape she has used and adds it to a used tape ball as a visual representation of how things snowball, and how a little work even on a day when you aren’t feeling it, is adding to your progress.
So if you are feeling like you aren’t getting anywhere, start taping those thumbs and add to that tape ball, keep getting after it.
(TLDR-keep your funky used tape and after every session add it to a ball so you can see how much work you have put in, and a reminder that you are always moving forward.)