“Sometimes there’s seemingly no rhyme or reason to the results we see from our training and dieting. You can eat perfectly for a few weeks and see little to no progress, or you can specialize in a certain lift for a month or two and not achieve any noticeable strength gains. Other times you find that despite the fact that you’ve been slacking, your body is looking better and better and you’re consistently settings PRs. This happens because 1) human physiology is incredibly complex and unpredictable and 2) we cannot see the changes that are occurring on a molecular level. One phase of training often paves the way for future success in a subsequent phase of training, and hormonal fluctuations likely explain some of the confounding results we see in with our diets. Don’t be deterred by “off weeks.” Progress is never linear; the body transforms in waves. Hard work and consistency ensures that the waves trend in a positive direction so that every few months, you’re leaner, stronger and fitter.”
Our coach tagged the powerlifting team on Facebook to this post by a fellow strength lifting coach recently and personally, the timing of the message could not have been better. All of us who train with Jim, myself included, are hard on ourselves. We are always striving for more. More with our lift technique, our numbers and honestly, with visible physical results. We expect that the hard work we put in should produce the desired results. But sometimes it just doesn’t…which frankly drives me bananas.
For me specifically, starting this new training cycle I’ve just felt “off”. My lifts have all felt heavy and not terribly comfortable, I’ve lacked confidence as the weights have increased and I’ve gone through the last several months feeling/looking “fluffy” instead of more fit. Now to some, my feelings and concerns (particularly regarding aesthetics) may seem trivial and that’s OK. It’s all relative. But I’d be willing to bet that in the female athlete arena, even within my own gym, I’m not alone in my concerns.
I have tried to think critically about how I’ve felt. “Have I been in the gym training as much as I need to in order to achieve my goals?”, “Is there anything going on outside the gym that could be affecting my performance?”, “Is my diet in tune and my sleep on track?”. There wasn’t a glaringly obvious answer that would explain my struggle, which just left me banging my head on the wall and thinking, “Than what’s the d@#n problem?!?”
But when I got to thinking more about Bret said, I found some solace. I need to trust the process. My results will not be linear regardless of how much I’d like them to be, even when the effort is there. Stressing about it certainly won’t help either. So I need to close my eyes, take a deep breath and hope a new a high wave is in my future.