The New Normal and Periodization
It’s funny…when you first lose weight or lift a new PR, you feel super good about yourself.
But then after a while, when you stay at that weight or keep lifting around the same amount, you aren’t as happy or as proud with where you are.
It is obviously still a good point if you were happy to get there, but at some point, you begin to expect and want more.
You can actually become super UNHAPPY with where you are even if it is miles beyond where you started.
It’s like we get used to our success and begin to not see it as the success it once was – we begin to see it as the new normal.
And once something is our normal, we just seem to want to improve on it.
I know I do.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be satisfied no matter how much I achieve. Sometimes I just keep pushing and pushing expecting more and more NEVER giving myself a chance to take a break and enjoy all that has already been accomplished.
But you will drive yourself crazy that way.
Yes we can always become better, fitter, stronger, faster.
But is always pushing forward really good? Don’t you need to at points sit and enjoy what you’ve already accomplished?
Don’t you need to give yourself a break even if it is just a mental break from constantly pushing forward?
I whole-heartedly believe in giving yourself a “break” every few weeks if not a small break every week.
This new “normal” that you achieve can easily become a plateau if you keep pushing forward at the same pace day in and day out.
Honestly, your body and your mind can’t handle the same intensity day in and day out and sometimes you are lucky if you simply plateau when you don’t give yourself a chance to relax and reflect. You run the risk of actually going BACKWARDS if you never give yourself a break!
So once you’ve achieved a new normal, how do you use a “break” to keep you moving forward?
What do I mean by periodization? I mean that you cycle through times of intense work and really pushing toward your goal, working harder and harder, and then taking a little time to let your mind and body recuperate BEFORE you push forward again.
And when talking about workouts, I don’t mean the day or so you take each week to let your body recover from the week of workouts. AND I don’t mean a complete week off from working out.
When you create your workout program, you want to create a progression. A progression can be anywhere from 4-6 weeks in length. And over those weeks you should build each week on what you did the week before. This means heavier weights or maybe even earning more advanced and complicated variations of moves.
But anyway you look at it you are PROGRESSING. You aren’t randomly picking workouts. You are building each week toward a goal…even if that goal is simply to do a heavier squat or be able to use weight on a single leg deadlift.
And then after building for those 4-6 weeks, you need to recover. This can mean going back to body weight for a week. It can mean completely switching up your progression or even just doing different workouts for a week.
Whatever it is, you’ve got to give your body and your MIND a break from the constant pressure to move forward.
Same goes for dieting. And again I don’t simply mean a cheat meal or even a cheat day each week.
Sometimes you have to let go completely…like on a vacation. Sometimes you have to take a couple of days and just enjoy even if they aren’t on whatever usual schedule/plan you follow.
Your mind and body can’t keep pushing forward all the time. You’ve got to give yourself a chance to relax and enjoy your new “normal” but still improved/better/fitter/happier state before you push forward again.
So think about your program right now…Are you actually building toward something or just haphazardly going about things and then getting mad when a new normal turns into a month-long plateau?
Have you been working at the same intensity for the last three months and been wondering why you haven’t seen results?
Give this a shot. Write up the next few weeks and then PLAN in a week to enjoy how strong you’ve gotten while not focusing on moving forward or your goals for the next few weeks. Plan a week every 4-6 weeks where you are going to just enjoy and PLAY!
Posted on March 6, 2013, in Man Biceps, Mindset, Play, Workout and tagged building toward goal, periodization, progression, recovery, recovery week, time off, workout cycles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.