The honeymoon is over, the initial PRs and gains have happened, and the intense motivation to master this new sport is giving way to the realization that it may take longer than six months to own the plethora of disciplines needed to excel in this crazy sport … you have now reached your first (or second or third) plateau.
PRs are not happening at the rate you once enjoyed… new skills seem just out of reach… the new guy who you used to beat handily is steadily gaining on you on the leader-board. The disillusionment, the loneliness, not wanting to squat, not wanting to attempt your muscle-up…it probably has you feeling like a little cartoon grumpy blob on an anti-depression medication TV commercial. Do not fret little grumpy blob, as you are not alone! Everyone goes through plateaus, and there are some general tips and tricks to help you brave the great plain of nothingness and get back to bagging PRs and mastering skills you once thought impossible.
Remember how far you have come:
Take the time to sit back and roll around in the beast you have become. Think back on the WODS that you can now use as warm-ups. Think back on that newborn baby deer feeling that your snatch used to have, and how smooth it is becoming. Track your work outs, and be sure to go back and revisit those scores and appreciate the effort you have put in, even if those gains are not coming as fast as they one did.
Set small achievable goals:
Having a queue of longer term goals is encouraged, but in this plateau, setting small achievable steps along the way will prove just as satisfying as getting to big overall goal… looking for a muscle up? Set a goal of 5 strict pull ups every time you are in the gym. Tackle a progression twice a week. However small, these steps in the process prove invaluable to building requisite strength/stamina/muscle patterns to eventually get you to your bigger goals.
Decide why you are at Moov, have an honest conversation with yourself about what motivates you, and discuss it with your coach. Use the resources at your disposal to start building a plan using those real motivators to propel you out of your comfort zone and off a stubborn plateau… looking to lose 5 pounds? Talk to your coach about setting up a nutrition discussion. Wanting to finally outlift that chick that constantly gets 1 pound more than you? Talk to you coach about other programs, ancillary work or strategy tips to dominate the leader-board.
Trust the community:
Lastly, trust the community. We are surrounded by amazing, talented and passionate people, use them. Share stories, talk about feeling stuck, and how others have overcome that feeling. Everyone deals with this feeling, maybe someone has just the right thing to say or help with to get amp’d up again. Definitely realize that CrossFit is like a relationship, you will have ups and downs, you will have good days and bad days, but as long as you show up and put out 100% effort, even on the bad days, you will never be disappointed with the results!
Stay hungry. Stay healthy.