What To Do When You Are Stuck

TAGS: stuck, programming, coaching, strongman, bodybuilding, sports, athlete, powerlifting, training, Jeremy Frey

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As trainers, lifters, or exercise enthusiasts (can’t believe I said that), we all have found a time when we either stopped seeing results, got mentally exhausted, and/or found ourselves stuck in a rut. It happens. What can you do to make it out of the ditch and back onto the road? Here are a few tips that I have found to work along the way as an athlete, an elite lifter, and a strength coach.


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Change your routine

Doing the same thing week in and week out can become quite monotonous. This will lead to stagnation of the mind as well as the body. The body does a great job of adapting to surroundings. If you live in a warm climate area where you are used to high temperatures, when the temp dips, you tend to put on your jacket much sooner compared to those who live in a cooler climate. I find it ridiculous to see individuals bundling up when it’s like 60 degrees outside. That is still shorts weather to me.

Same goes for training. Your body gets used to a routine and adapts. Once adaptation takes place, you get less from what you are doing. That could be with doing the same exercise but never changing the weight, sets, or reps.

Change is good! Change of intensity, volume, and overall exercise prescription can make a huge difference. The most amount of time I would go without changing exercises is about three to four weeks. After that, I change the stimuli. This not only helps with adaptation, but it will help stimulate the mind as well.

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Not a lot of individuals love the same ol’ routine method. Most individuals look for something new, and that is not a bad thing. Increasing your knowledge through doing and trying new things can be very rewarding.

Don’t change routine too often

Now after I just said change is good, sometimes changing too soon or too often is not good. A lot of people are always looking for a new path to get to where there are going. Nothing wrong with that, except you need to dedicate yourself to a new path for some time to see if you like where it’s leading you.

I’ve seen many novices and veterans try something new for a week or two, say that it doesn’t work, and move on, spouting about how what they just did doesn’t work. If you are unwilling to commit yourself to a different methodology for at least six months, then you don’t truly know where it will take you. If you want to see change, you need to sell out to whatever you are doing. Most of you are not elite-level athletes, lifters, or coaches.

Trying something out and committing some time to it will not kill you or set you way back. Training is a marathon. Doing short blocks of training and seeing the results will tell you a lot for future training and programming.

Hire someone

If you are writing your own programs, you are probably getting in your own way. As a coach, I have zero problems writing programs for others and then achieving great success. As for writing them for myself, I know what I should be doing, but I write things I want to do — not what I need to do. Most of the time, that is what we all do.

Asking someone to handle your program isn’t a knock on your knowledge or ability. Getting a fresh perspective is everything. Before I asked a friend to help with my programming, I was an above-average lifter, but I was having trouble getting to the next level. After I asked, and he offered to help with my programming. Within 11 months, I put over 300 pounds onto my total.


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This elevated me from being a good lifter to being one of the best. If I hadn’t put my ego aside and trusted someone else to guide me, I would have never reached such a high level of personal success.

If you want to see success, look outside of yourself and ask for help. Sometimes it’s free, sometimes you might have to pay, but most of the time you will find greater success when putting your training in someone else’s hands. We can be our own worst enemies.

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Train with and learn from those who are better than you

If you want to be successful, you need to surround yourself with success. It’s damn near impossible, though not improbable, to achieve a high level of success all on your own. It can happen, but most get help along the way and usually help from those who have been there.

If you want to be the best, you need to train with and/or learn from the best. If you want to squat 1,000 pounds, train with those who do. If you want to be a Division I BCS strength coach, you need to work with those who are. If you want to be a Division I player, have great genetics and then train with high level athletes.

Success breeds success. You have to be willing to listen and do what you’re told. Being open is the key along with paying attention. If you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to do what it takes to get there. Learning from those who have been there is invaluable. Don’t let your ego stand in the way.

Sacrifice

Moving forward, being great, and getting unstuck can take sacrificing things in your life.

Maybe you aren’t reaching your goals because you drink too much and don’t take care of your body. Are you willing to sacrifice those things to get better?

Maybe you are unwilling to ask for help because you don’t want to appear weak or uninformed. Are you willing to sacrifice your ego?

You truly have to ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to attain your goals. It all comes down to that. Success takes sacrifice. Sacrifice takes guts and determination. And it takes an understanding of your goals before all that.

The age-old saying for looking outside the box is tried and true. Most of the time, it’s looking outside your own box that you put yourself within that can make the difference.

What are you willing to do?

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