Typically when it comes to training at some point or another we all go through phases. Everyone’s is different. Some last longer than expected, some shorter, but the end result is always the same – progress and growth. We owe this to our programming. Every athlete follows programming and carefully listens to their coaches; just ask any games athlete who competed this past weekend. You’re almost guaranteed to have them thank their coaches for their programming because without it they wouldn’t be there.
Personally my training progress can be broken into 3 phases –
Phase 1 – frustration and struggle. As much as I dislike it, this phase of 4 to 6 weeks is extremely important. During this period we work on our weaknesses and develop better habits by tweaking areas that need work. I may feel like I’m in a rut or having a lot of “bad” days but it’s actually not the case. Instead it’s my body adapting to new behaviors and figuring itself out.
Phase 2 – the transition. This is typically much shorter and don’t even realize it till it’s practically over. For instance, it might include days such as working on squat snatches. Suddenly the weight feels practically weightless and I don’t manage to fall back onto my butt every rep – I promise sitting on the ground is not part of my training. All that hard work from the previous month or so is paying off and confidence is growing.
Phase 3 – gains. This is when all the progress and growth shines through. Typically this lasts about 4 weeks and includes continually hitting PR’s, faster times, and increased endurance. The best part of this is that I know for a fact I’m not the only one at Crossfit Factory Square that experiences this! (Crossfit Total was a perfect example of this) Don’t think you go through this phase? Go look at the PR board, see if you have your name up there and see how quickly it’s filled up again.
No matter whether you’re a super star and hit PR’s constantly, go through phases like I do, or feel like you’re stuck in a rut – never give up and keep at it! Even on our strong days it’s important to stick to the programming and its percentages. There is always something new to learn and ways to improve. So when you finally do hit the movement and/or weight you’ve been struggling with, there is no better reward and feeling to know that you can achieve anything you work towards.