Similarities Of Gym Plateaus & Career Growth (08/02/2023)

I had a conversation with one of our ELEVATE members yesterday who is about to celebrate his 3-year anniversary. Our conversation got me thinking that he’s not alone in what he was sharing.

Why don’t all the lifts continue to improve and get stronger in the gym?

Why can’t progress continue at the same rate for all exercises across the board?

Why does chasing a pull up or chin up take so long?

This member came to the realization that plateaus in the gym aren’t necessarily bad. Everything we do has a plateau point where progress feels like it has stalled.

Have you ever seen the graph of what people think the path to success is and then what the reality is?

The challenge is continuing to work through the plateau no matter how long you’ve been there, staying determined and motivated to accomplish the goal despite the plateau.

There are common pitfalls people experience in the gym. Some of those include poor sleep quality or quantity, poor nutrition and alcohol choices, excess stress in life, too much or too little training intensity and/or volume, and more.

The purpose of today’s message isn’t diving into these issues, it’s understanding that plateaus aren’t holding you back and do not need to be classified as negative.

Think about your current job and career. What skills do you have now that you didn’t when you started? Are you better at managing projects and people? Are you more knowledgeable in your field or industry?

Were you able to equally improve each of these skills every day at the same rate for the amount of time you’ve held this position?

Likely not.

It’s more likely you grew better at one skill at a time. When a skill plateaus you shift your focus to another skill repeating this process, each skill improving a little bit at a time individually over time. 

Your strength training success follows a similar path. If your focus is the chin up, like the member we’re speaking of, then the squat, deadlift and pushing exercises are likely not going to progress because they’re not the focus at this time, and that’s ok.

It’s a very rare moment that someone PR’s every lift in the gym on the same day, unless the unique circumstance that they’re in a powerlifting meet. But how many of you are doing that?

All in all, it might take you weeks, months, and in some cases years to realize strength feats and goals in your training.

Recognize the plateau you’re at now is at a higher elevation than where you were in the past. Continue to put in the hard work, give it your best effort, and soon enough you’ll be on your way to the next plateau, and that’s going to be a great place to be!