Plateau effect

Plateau effect
So let’s say that you have just begun your journey with martial arts,  weight training, running or any other activity. Not necessarily sports related. You might have just started playing some instrument, learning some new skills, language, changed your profession, opened your own business or have got into a new relationship.

I am pretty sure that you feel driven and motivated. Even thought that you might have some doubts and concerns, your hope and vision of outcome overcomes everything.
Well, this is what I assume. Otherwise I don’t think you would even start it. 

Isn’t it truth that; once we get hooked up on something, even if it is just a bit of entertainment, we tend to progress pretty fast at very beginning.
When we enjoy the process and believe in great benefits of actions that we take, time flies super fast and we do not even realise when we become good at it, when we fall deeper into it and effects begin to show up.
Time, monotony, obstacles, tiredness and unfulfilled expectations do influence our drive as we progress with reaching up our goals. Sometimes we do get to some kind of stagnation. When we don’t necessarily loose the drive but for many different, mostly own created reasons, we do feel stuck.
We do get to “Plateau effect”.

Now, this is where one very important question comes.
What do we do when we reach plateau effect?
Do we back off ?
Finding any possible excuse.
It wasn’t supposed to be long term thing anyway.
It is not our cup of tea.
We should move on and search for something that we are truly made for.

Or do we accept that plateau is natural and this is basically when journey begins?
From now on the growth is going to get much slower if there is going to be any visual growth at all.
Remember that the biggest and most important growth is what happens inside you.
There will be some ups and downs through our progress and motivation.

But this is when we really begin to improve and move on the path towards the mastery of the skills.

Going back in time to my late teens, when I begun lifting some heavy weights and got into a bit of bodybuilding  ( just a shaping up, not competitive level ).
Bench press used to be something I’ve got obsessed with.
I could clearly see the progress in my performance as well as transformation on my body on week to week basis for first few months. 
Changes would rocket up for few reasons;  my growth age, dietary adjustments, hard and continuous work. Silent challenge among my training peers and last but not least; desire of attracting ladies.
To be honest I did not put as much effort into building up strength and working on visual effect of other parts of my muscles as I did with my chest and ABS for a long time.
I had run regularly.  Swim, play football,  basketball and take up on any other games whenever I could. So I was satisfied with proportion of all my body workouts and would only go through some brief training on other parts of muscles compare to chest.
At this same time I could see benefits of bench press on other muscles too. 
I think that; it was plateau effect on my pressing up, what made me realise that if I want to get better and move up the level.  I do have to make some adjustments in my routines and give a bit more attention to other muscles like: biceps, triceps, shoulders and back muscles, which also do play a key role in bench press performance.
I found this example pretty clear and appropriate to touch on “plateau effect” case. I think that most of us, even those who never trained Martial arts can relate to this case more likely. But then again it does come to us in all other aspects of our lives. Professional, family, hobby or business related.
This is what I have done with my lifting case:
Apart of adding up training of other muscles and testing new types of workouts. I would look for ways to improve my diet and recovery/training ratio.
I would accept that I have reached to my top level at the time. And more than anything else I had to make sure that I do not drop below level I have already reached. So I  wouldn’t waste all the hard work and commitments I’ve put in place to get to that point. As well as I would believe that things will change at the right time if I constantly search and work on it. I would keep on reminding myself: my motives, goals, visions and benefits of particular actions. I would brief myself up on how far i have already gone since i have first started.

I think that the biggest motivational booster in my case is; awareness of my time, effort, sacrifices investment and being afraid of wasting any of these.
This same process I could relate to my running, fighting, meditating, relationships, career and so on… experience.

Never give up! Never back down!
Follow your dreams!

GMMA Academy
“Sporting, Inspiring, Greatness”

Krystian Ozog
Fighter/Instructor, GMMA Academy

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