You go to the gym regularly, you eat adequately, and you sleep enough. So why are you stuck at a plateau and not seeing any progress for months on end?
Maybe your plateau is that your weight is staying the same or your lifts aren’t increasing or your running isn’t getting faster. Whatever it is- it’s frustrating, I’m sure.
WHY? If you’re putting in all the work and keeping at it- shouldn’t you be reaching, if not surpassing, your goals by now? DOESN’T PRACTICE MAKE PERFECT?
Not always. If your goal is to get better: you can’t expect to blindly shoot a basketball 100 times and get magically better on the 101st try. You can’t go in and lift whatever weights you feel like that day with whatever form you want and expect to get stronger. You can’t go for a run and not at least try to be better than you were last time and expect to get much faster.
Consistent and mindful practice makes continued progress.
What do I mean by that?
After each rep, set, and practice you need to evaluate what you did right, what you did wrong, and where you can improve. You can do this with the feedback from a coach, recording your sets and watching them for improvement, or tracking numbers such as weights/ reps, bodyweight, or running times- whatever numbers are important and applicable to your goals.
This keeps you from getting lazy and complacent, essentially. It keeps your practice diligent and intentional.
You could be going weeks, months, or even years doing something incorrectly (without even realizing it) while using the guiding principle “practice makes perfect”. Don’t just assume that because you’re working at something that you’ll happen to get better at it.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”
Remember this quote when seeking to get better at anything. Be mindful. Use every training session as an opportunity to get better. Don’t just work through 5 sets without the goal of them being “to get better”. Closely evaluate what is working and why as well as what is not working and why before wasting those 5 sets.
If you’ve ever been coached by me- in a class, in a sport, or one on one, you’ve surely heard me say: “Don’t just do it just to do it. Do it with the intention of getting better at it.” I’m a firm believer in this.
Your practice doesn’t make perfect- it doesn’t even make progress- without consistent evaluation of its efficiency.
You need to be willing to accept feedback- both positive and negative- and continue to perfect your craft while making corrections along the way.