Why Your Lifts Just Aren’t Getting Better… And What to Do About It
Let me try and put together a little scenario for you and tell me how close it is to what you’re going through right now. You’ve been lifting for about 18 months to a few years and all of a sudden gone are the days of monthly PRs and you are now even struggling to get within sniffing distance of lifts that used to be attainable whenever you wanted them. Nothing has changed, you just can’t seem to get any better. You’ve added volume and that didn’t work, you’ve cut back some and that didn’t do anything either.
1. You’ve picked up some bad habits. This is very probable if you train alone or you train where your coaches are either new or they suck and wouldn’t know a good lift if it landed on them. So how does one fix that? Well, that’s pretty simple: train with people who know what they’re doing. I had to spend a year training alone at an isolated base in Japan, and shockingly enough, I was the only guy doing the Olympic Lifts at a command of 200 people. Guess what happened? I picked up some s***** habits. Guess what happened when I got in front of Coach Burgener after that year? That’s right, I got those kicked back out of me. Point of this? Find somebody who doesn’t suck to look at your lifts even if it’s only a couple of times a month.2. Time to get bigger. Let me tell you a story of a new lifter. We can call this new lifter Greg. Well Greg was right around 85K when I met him and let’s say his lifts were around 90 and 120 at the time. Well Greg decided to put on weight over the years, and I watched Greg do 143/175 last weekend. Morale of this tale: if you get bigger so should your total. Especially you tall guys. Seriously I’m like 6-1”ish and the best thing I did was move up to 105 (granted still a light 105) and my total went up like 20k.
9. Nagging Injuries. You might at this point have one of these little nagging injuries that are possibly holding you back just enough to not allow you to get over that hump. Get it evaluated and treated. Where would you rather be in 6 months? Looking back and saying, “I’m damn glad I got that knee squared away and can move on” or “I can’t believe my knee still hurts and my lifts are worse now than they were 6 months ago.” Not a difficult decision, and yes, I have had to make that decision, and yes it did suck at the time.
10. Mindset. Remembering why you are coming to the gym everyday besides the fact it’s just something you have been doing for the last few years is important. Have goals that are attainable and consistently update these to give you a reason for showing up.