I’ve often heard of making progress in fitness like breaking through a barrier or smashing through some sort of limits.
This analogy is very good in more ways than one. Think about breaking through to new levels like this:
Imagine a great medieval battle where some foot soldiers are trying to break through the castle gate with a battering ram.
The soldiers run up to the gate and then ram into the door with enough force to do damage to the door.
Then they back up a bit and hit it again, and again, and again. Each hit has more effect until the barrier shatters and it no longer there.
Can you imagine how effective it would be if they didn’t back up after each hit?
Imagine if they hit the door and then just kept pressing against it with all of pressure they could produce.
Sure they would keep the pressure on the door but it wouldn’t have much effect. As they kept pressing on they would get tired and the pressure would diminish as the minutes ticked by.
There’s a big lesson here for when you’re trying to break a plateau or any barrier in fitness.
Much of your fatigue and frustration comes from applying constant effort and pressure against that plateau. You continue pushing and straining with everything we have. It feels like you’re are working hard, and you are. The thing is the pressure you’re applying to that barrier is not quite hard enough to blast through.
On top of that, your energy level and enthusiasm can diminish over time. So even though you’re still giving 110% the actual effect of your effort may be diminishing.
So I recomend using the battering ram stratagy. Instead of keeping the pressure on, back up a bit. Take a short break, or go easy for a bit. This way you build up a bit of potential energy to give a sudden burst of force against your barrier.
So when it comes to your workouts, take a week off or give yourself a deloading week. Maybe do what you normaly do but scale back 50% for a couple of workouts . Then make a rush atack in your next workout and hit it with more force than you normaly would have.
When it comes to diet or weight loss, take a day off from the diet or don’t try and bring yourself into a negative calorie balance for a few days. Then, come back and hammer your diet or calorie balance with more effort than ever before.
Lastly, keep in mind that the sudden force you bring on after you “back up” is meant to be short term. It only lasts a day or two. Then you go back to your normal routine only to back up again and hit that barrier hard once again.
The key is staying consistent with the timing you “ram” your barriers. Maybe once a week or once a month. If you do it once in a while your timing will be produce far less effect.
I wish you luck in your attack against your limits. May they fall before your feet soon.