Oftentimes in your fitness journey, you’ll face setbacks or seasons where you seem to plateau. There’s a list of things I like athletes to examine during these times. Grading yourself on a scale of 1-5 (5 being excellent) is a good place to start. Choosing a few and making strides to improve these will pay off.
- Fitness: The primary thing I look at in the office when checking in on athletes is their attendance. If an athlete is eatingn well and not making progress, a simple fix is to see if there is a pattern with their frequency or consistency. If someone was coming 5-6 days a week and they’ve dropped off, it’s an easy fix. If someone is coming 5-6 days a week and we’ere seeing a decrease in strength and conditioning, we may need to prioritize rest, sleep, and other recovery options.
- Nutrition: How is your nutrition? Pretty good? Needs improvement? There is always room for improvment. If you don’t know what to do or where to start, hire a coach. Even for a short season to get you on track.
- Sleep: How many hours do you get a night? From what I witness most are getting 6-7 hours a night. What might 8 hours a night do for your recovery? How can you prioritize more sleep each night? Going to bed earlier is a discipline that most athletes need to implement.
- Recovery: Are you stretching and rolling out post workout? If not, this is a great place to start. Other options are massage, Chiropractic care, ice baths, Cryotherapy, and active recovery days.
- Supplements: Not alot is needed here, but most would benefit from a protein shake and some creatine post workout. In the mid-west we won’t get vitamin d from the sun in the fall & winter, so a vitamin d supplement is a great idea. There are other things that can benefit athletes depending on their activity levels.
- Stress: How stressed are you and what are you doing about it? You have to find a way to de-stress. Stress will affect your sleep, increase inflamation, and lead to more body-fat storage due to the lack of sleep and cortisol rises. I’ve found that the best solution for stress is talking or hanging with friends. Alcohol is a typical solution for a lot of people, but thats a temporary band-aid that does nothing for your stress nor your performance in the gym.
Where do you measure up? How can you make a few improvements? If you need help, reach out anytime.