You spend all this time CrossFitting, so you might as well be getting stronger. There comes a point when all of us hit plateaus, and we just have to figure out ways to get through them. Sometimes its as easy as taking a little recovery time, or adjusting your diet, too having to rebuild from scratch. None of these things are bad, and they make you better in the long run. Here are three reasons you may not be getting stronger.
Not Eating Enough – There are a ton of different diet philosophies on how we can get stronger and improve our performance, but none of them that work tell us to eat a restricted calorie diet. Plain and simply put, If you don’t eat enough, you don’t give your body the fuel it needs to build muscle and get stronger. So many CrossFitters are so concerned with losing weight that they are starving themselves and not getting the amount of macro nutrients that their bodies need. It is extremely important that you figure out your macros, the amount of protein, carbs, and fat that you need in order to properly balance your hormone levels and make sure that you are making the gains that you deserve from your hard work. I have found the best way to figure this out is to make a profile at zonediet.com. This gives you a pretty decent baseline of the amount of macros you need by breaking it down into zone blocks. This is figured out by using your body fat percentage. Don’t worry, they have a handy dandy little body fat calculator that figures all of this stuff out for you. Once you have your macros figured out, you can do some pretty simple math to figure out how many calories you should be eating a day. You should never be going below this number. It is important that you are giving yourself the energy you need to keep pushing yourself at the gym without crashing.
Not Resting Enough – Now I’m not saying that you need to take every other day off, or you need to do the old adage of push muscles on day and pull muscles the next day or whatever those badasses over at the Smith machine are doing. Im saying that you do need to take active recovery days , and do deload weeks every so often. If you don’t, well, your body will start to break down and you will start to suck. Your technique will start to suffer, and you risk getting hurt. Oh ya, you also risk over training, which isn’t as easy as you think to come back from. When you overtrain you stop making gains, you regress, you have less energy, and you become less motivated. Doesn’t that sound awesome? No. So do your body a favor and make sure you’re giving it the adequate recovery it needs. Or prepare to start sucking.
Not Using Proper Technique- This one is pretty self explanatory, but if your technique sucks, you will plateau faster, and you will never get better. I know its hard, but if you keep doing something, and put a lot of work into and aren’t getting the results you feel you should be, make sure you are doing it correctly. I’ve totally started rebuilding my squat. As of now I’m able to squat 335, which isn’t horrible, but for as big as I am,(6’1, 225) I feel like I should be able to squat a lot more. I’ve been stuck on that number for months. So I’ve decided to start from scratch. Last week I started with 95 lbs, this week 135. I’m really focusing on getting in the proper positions and squatting with as good of form as I can. Whats crazy, is how sore I am. When you do it right, it works muscles you’re not used to. So ya, it make feel silly at first to go backwards, but trust me, the results will be well worth it. Make sure your technique is spot on, technique trumps strength.
These are just few reasons. I’ll have a few more in a future post. In the mean time, eat enough, sleep enough, and use good form!! Heres another funny pic of my dog:)