Hey There! Thank you for taking the time out to read this blog. You are probably here because you are in the middle of a plateau, have had a plateau in the past or you are just interested in avoiding a plateau in the future! I can tell you I have had none of my committed clients in the last few years plateau and below ill discuss 6 tips from my experience that have helped.
I was actually thinking of blogging about something more fluffy like ‘You are the manifestation of your excuses' but ill leave that for another time. I wanted to give something more practical this time, something you can take action on right now!
1. Train with intention, fury and passion.
I have coached 100s of people over the years as a coach and there is a clear difference in the results from someone who is training with intention or someone who is training just to finish the session.
You can tell from the moment someone walks into the gym whether they are there to fucking destroy the session or if they are just there to tick the box of ‘yep I showed up’ and leave. A good example of this is one of the UltraFS Gym members named ‘Jay,’ he recently added 30kg to his bench press in 12 weeks. He went from 100 to 130kg, that shit doesn’t happen without intension.
The clear difference is Jay comes in and warms up without needing to be told to, he is into it straight away and gets on with it without being pushed, there is a huge amount of initiative taking place. He asks questions all the time which clearly shows he is interested in investing in himself. I may go for a walk around the gym and check on other members and then ill come back and 10 times out of 10 he is sweating and panting, the dude is there for fucking results.
Every single rep, think about its damn purpose. You SHOULD NOT be thinking about the number, think about what the rep is trying to achieve and how you can achieve a better rep on the next one. EVERY single rep counts, I have seen it time and time again, the people who get extreme results have intention with every single movement they do. Counting in your head “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” is great but what’s your fucking mission? To be good at counting? Or to get results?
2. Less is more, most of the time.
My experience as a coach is spent 90% of the time pulling people back and educating them on when they should pull and when they should push. It’s like everybody is in a rush and they have to be super strong by tomorrow… JUST RELAX! We have months and years to build strength, we don’t need to be popping our eye balls on every set and hitting a 1 rep max every week. This will 99% of the time lead to injury and plateau, give yourself time to build and get strong, injury will set you back further!
If I have someone doing some volume work on squats for example, I’d have them do 5 sets of 5 reps and work at a weight where they could of done 1-2 more reps, hitting grinders every session raises the risk of injury. If your movement pattern is off or you are tight somewhere then go even lighter again.
Risk vs Reward, if you hit a heavy set of squats with a really tight hip flexor/quad what is the Reward? You may get 0.0001% stronger, versus the Risk? You may have 5% chance of a quad strain or tear. If you were told you had a 5% chance of tearing your quad would you risk it for a 0.0001% strength gain? Wait a week, release the tight muscle and bump the intensity up then. More importantly, identify why it was so tight and what was causing it.
Don’t be mistaken, there is a time and a place when you should open up the can of worms and have a fucking crack but pick your moments wisely and when you do go all in 110% and get after it!
3. Muscles don’t tighten up for no reason.
We have all heard someone say “Oh my back has always been tight, that is just how I am..” or “My right hip has been tight forever, it’s just a part of my life.” That is such a load of shit. There is ALWAYS a reason for tight muscles and majority of the time it is either a muscle imbalance or movement/mechanical issue.
A very common example is tight quads, hip flexors and back. Most of the time this is due to weak gluteus and core muscles, any educated gym goer or coach would know this.
If you do have re-occurring tight muscles I would highly advise seeing a good physio asap. And don’t be one of those people that goes to a specialist expecting a quick fix, this shit takes time and you WILL have to work on fixing it with a long term solution. If you have 10 years of bad movement patterning do you honestly think a quick trip to the chiropractor will fix it? You need a good physio that will give you a long term, realistic solution to build up the weaker muscle groups to take the pressure off the tight muscles. I see ‘VIBE REHAB’ once a week and they have helped me substantially with defeating imbalances.
It gets a lot more in depth than this, the main thing I want you to take away from this point is that TIGHT MUSCLES HAPPEN FOR A REASON and have a higher potential to strain or tear. Don’t be a tight ass, pay the money to see a specialist and invest in yourself. Your health is more important than the $200 pair of jeans that you didn’t need!
4. EAT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!
If you truly want faster and more consistent results don’t be one of those people who trains like a freaking savage and then goes home and has a packet of chips or better yet you try be proactive and have a steak, salad and rice but the problem is you have the same amount that would be fed to a 5 year old because you are to scared of losing your sick, cut physique.
I know its old school but I am going to say it! I am ALL FOR the whole Bulk/Cut cycle. If you want aggressive, strong results then eat the same way! Fuel yourself like you’re a fucking animal, not a 5 year old just trying to be healthy. How much would a T-Rex eat? How much does a Lion eat? How much does a Kodiak Bear eat? All the Alpha’s EAT BIG! If you are truly a strength athlete then putting on a bit of fat shouldn’t matter for you. EAT LIKE YOU DAMN MEAN IT AND WANT TO DOMINATE YOUR GAINZ!!
Worst case if you start putting on a bit to much fat, cut for a little bit. If you are peaking for a comp, time your strength peak to destroy your competition and then cut weight after. I just competed at ProRawXI 4 weeks ago at 132kg and I currently weigh 127kg.. If you are committed enough, you will do what it takes for the outcome.
Try not to overthink it either. There is so much information on the internet, the best advice I can give you is to experiment and find what works for you. Once you have found what works for you, don’t read another article for 12 weeks. Stick to your plan, actually don’t just stick to it, fucking dominate the plan and get after those results!
5. Show up when you don’t want to!
If you are feeling tired, unmotivated, sore or sick, guess what? No one gives a shit. These are the sessions that matter the most, consistency is SO SO important. Even if you are feeling really bad, come in and do the bare minimum to maintain your muscle and strength. Maintaining your consistency with training is underrated in my opinion and you NEED to show up.
BY FAR the people I have seen that get the most results show up the most and have the most consistent schedule. Harden your mind, show up, it is good for you. The more you push through adversity when it is optional the easier it will be when it isn't optional and the universe is testing you! When life throws you a curve ball you are fucking prepared for it because you aren’t some pussy that folds when you get pushed over, you get the fuck back up and keep moving forward because that is what you are trained to do!
6. Self Awareness.
THE most annoying person in the world is the one that has a freaking excuse for everything, would you agree!? “Oh, my shoulder is a bit niggly so I wont train today.” WHO FUCKING CARES!! Come in and train legs, your core, your arms, do everything you can to work around it. Just because one body part is injured or sore doesn’t mean you cant train the other 97% of your body, just be smart about it. Clearly something like this is an excuse to be lazy.
Be self-aware. We all make excuses at times… I get that, but if you do make an excuse, make a conscious effort to back track the excuse you have just said/thought and do what is best for you. Keep your reasons WHY you are doing it close, always remember WHY! Without your purpose you will crumble like a dry leaf. Remember you ARE a fucking savage if you want to be, YOU CAN be incredible, your results are completely up to you.
NO. MORE. FUCKING. EXCUSES!
Do it for yourself.
Thank you for reading this blog post and I really hope you got at least 1 thing out of it that can help your strength training journey!
- Jake Fisher