Getting Over A Fitness Plateau

1.  Exercise Less or More

When it comes fitness progression is key.  Many times exercising less can be the answer because intensity can be increased and recovery can be improved.  On the other hand, an increase in volume can help improve as well.  If you have been training for a long time without a week or two off take a break.  If you have been working out two times a week up it to three.  It really depends on the person and a qualified professional can help you improve on this.

2.  Train for a goal  

I am not sure if I have ever trained for a weight goal.  Instead I have trained for a specific strength, power, or speed goal.  I have also trained to be able to advance in specific body weight exercises.  The point here is focus your energy on getting to a specific result.  A word of caution here.  I do believe that goals can be conflicting.  For example, becoming really strong and becoming better at marathons are opposed.  That is not to say that a runner should not get stronger but the programming should be inline with the specific goal.

3.  Manage Stress and Sleep More

Our bodies need sleep and many times.  Most people say we need 7-9 hours of sleep.  When it comes to stress we all have it.  It is not the stress but rather the reaction to the stressful situation.  Things like prayer, meditation, focused relaxation, quite time, and much more can help break that plateau.

4.  Change nutrition

The obvious things are reducing bad carbs, sugar, alcohol, trans fat, and so on.  On the other hand, little things like maybe eating more or less could help depending on the person.  Eating more good fats or other nutrition tweaks may just improve performance.

5.  Get some support

This can come in so many forms from professional support to the support of a friend.  It could mean a training partner or a small group personal training class.

6.  Get some recovery

Massage, foam rolling, chiropractic care, band stretching, walking, yoga, vacation, hot cold showers, and many more are all examples of ways to recover.  Remember results happen after the workout.  Working hard is important but so is working smart and consistent.  Recovery techniques are crucial and might be what you need to bust through a plateau.

7.  Supplementation 

Finding supplementation for your goals is important.  It is not the first thing to look at however I believe it is the easiest way to see some results.  Try some supplements for performance and use those.  Figure out what you like and what your goals are then you can add those into your overall plan.  However some people focus on supplementation but do not look at nutrition or any other factors.

What have you done to break a plateau?  Comment below!

American Ninja Warrior Training

I am training for American Ninja Warrior.

Here are some things that I believe need to be a focus when training for this type of competition.

1.  Really focusing on grip strength.

Many of the successful warriors have great grip strength especially per pound of body weight.  I was really impressed with the football player who made it through because his weight was much greater than the other competitors (I digress).  The truth is that grip strength has to be incredible to do well in this competition.

Here are some examples of exercises I am using.

– Two finger pullups

– Two finger KB carries

– Weighted pull ups

2.  Must be explosive in the lower body.

The reasoning is because of the jumps that are needed throughout the competition.  Fortunately my many years of training for lower body jump height has potentially prepared me for this.  My main goal is to maintain strength and explosiveness in the lower body.

Here are some examples

– Single leg squats

– Deadlifts

– Different jump and sled work

 

3.  Advanced body weight training

In the past I wrote about different exercises for body weight.  I feel that strength per pound of body weight also known as relative strength is key.  None of the warriors have a high percentage of body fat and many do freestyle tricking or are rock climbers.  Without doing these specific things I will need to focus on other ways to be strong.

Here are some examples

– L-sit

– Planche

– Explosive dips

Here is some of the training I have done in the past

 

Comment What You Think… Is anything missing?

The Perfect Diet?

I want to start of by saying that there is not such thing as a perfect diet.

So what diet is best and how should a person eat?

Here are some guidelines that I have noticed throughout the years.

 

1.  The best nutrition plan is individual to you and to your goals.

Let me give you an example.  A sumo wrestler versus a sprinter versus a marathon runner.  These three people will eat completely different, train completely different, and perform completely different.  They have different goals, lifestyles, and missions in life.  Say what you want about genetics if any person moves to a different style of training and eating they will become more like that person.

2.  The diet (how we eat) is only a part of a long, fit healthy, life.

I know some healthy and fit vegans (although only a few) and I know healthy and fit meat eaters.  There are some cultures that have been studied because their longevity (age).  Here is further reading on the subject it is called the blue zones.  The interesting thing is that eating is just one part of the equation.  Stress reduction, sense of purpose, faith, happiness, exercise, and personal healthy relationships were keys to a long healthy life.  My point is that people can have very different eating styles and still be healthy and fit.

3.  Processed foods are minimized

We all know that sugar, fast food, processed foods, trans fat, bad carbohydrates do not make us live a longer more fit life.  In all instances these are controlled, or cut out completely.

4.  Calories are in check but most importantly healthy foods are the majority of the plan.

Healthy carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats are all important to a successful nutrition.  None are bad when they come from healthy sources.  Also they do not eat too little or too much but usually this is controlled by what we eat.

5.  They never diet they just have learned how to eat.

This is the point of Personal Trainer Food.  Dieting by fad diets and or other programs that do not educate a person how to eat is know good.  The issue is not just portion control it is also what foods will give us sustained energy, strength and vitality.

6.  It is not about restriction or deprivation but it is also not about gluttony.

This happens all the time.  It is called the all or nothing syndrome.  Where people stick with something for a week or even a few months.  Instead making small continual little changes would be better.

Looking at the typical american diet really is more towards gluttony.  The problem arises when a person goes cold turkey and says “I am never going to have ______”  This is dangerous water and most likely will lead to failure.  A person should have rewards in place but  they should fit into that persons goals and lifestyle.

7.  They take the 70-90% approach

What does this mean?  It means they eat healthy and for their goals most of the time, but lets face it we all like to indulge and that is not a bad thing nor should it be avoided in my opinion.

There you have it some common things for a nutrition (diet) program that works.

Comment below your thoughts or questions!

 

5 Advanced Bodyweight Movements

Below are five advanced bodyweight movements that can be used for better fitness and or athleticism.

These should be done in a progressive manner and should not be practiced if someone is not ready for them.

For example if a person is unable to do a full body squat with both legs the progression is obviously NOT a single leg squat.

1.  Single leg squat from the ground up

2.  Crow Stand holds with vest

3.  Two finger pull ups

4.  L sit variations

5.  Any explosive power movement such as tuck jumps, plyo push ups, broad jumps, and so on.

What is your favorite body weight exercise?

Comment below!