When should you level up your training?
So you’ve been training for a little while now, you are reading the daily briefs, you have found your groove with terms such as EMOM and AMRAP and you are seeing improvements in your fitness levels and body composition – how GOOD is that!
While you are gaining all the benefits of training consistently, have you finished a workout well under the time cap or even thought to yourself “that wasn’t too bad” after a workout? These are two signs that it may be time time to level up your workouts.
If yes, is the answer then continue reading :)
1. You could do another round or finished well under the time cap
As much as we dislike the saying “no pain no gain”, it does have some element of truth behind it. We are not saying train to the point of hurting yourself, just training to the point where you hurt yourself today but tomorrow you are ok. You need to challenge yourself to create adaptations, you need to try that different pull up band or throw in some double unders into those sets of singles.
When you feel like you have tried your best at a workout, kept good technique throughout and could still complete another round, it is time to make those sessions a little more challenging.
2. You no longer feel the good DOMS
Good DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is a great sign that your body is being challenged. in a nutshell DOMS are micro tears that occur in the muscle when you push your boundaries. Do not worry, these are the good type of tears, these are the tears that help build lean muscle mass and help you get stronger. The muscle you are working hard in your training sessions and your muscles are responding to your workouts.
The body is very efficient at adapting to exercises and at creating a mind-muscle memory for movement patterns, so an exercise that gives you DOMS one week might not give you the same DOMS the next week. However, if you’re working hard and being challenged enough at each workout, you should feel some DOMS on a regular basis.
If you haven’t felt any DOMS for a few weeks now, it could be time.
But remember, there are good DOMS and bad DOMS – please make sure it’s the good ones you’re feeling and if you are not sure, speak to your coach.
3. You could push out more reps
When there is a set amount of reps in a workout and you can complete them at ease.
A simple test is to look at the last few reps of an exercise – do they feel slow and strenuous, leaving you short of breath? Or are they the same speed and effort as the first reps of a set and you could probably complete another ten?
You should always have a few reps left in the tank – that’s what is going to get you through the rest of the class – but if you know you could do more, it’s time to look at adding weight, increasing the weight you’re using or moving on to a progressed version of the same exercise which you may finding sitting in the RX category.
4. When you hit a plateau
Fitness plateaus are frustrating. You can be training on a regular basis, thinking you’re training hard enough and really getting the workouts done, but you aren’t seeing any results and all progress that you were making seems to stall.
Plateaus happen, Your body has adjusted to the workout routine and level you are currently training at and simply, it isn’t being challenged enough anymore so you’re not seeing any changes.
It is absolutely time to level up your training! You need to give your body a wake up, challenge it, and breakthrough.
How many of the above did you say YES to?
Sitting in your comfort zone isn’t going to get you the results you’re after, so tackle it, talk to your coach about taking the next step to level up your training. You’ll know if you’ve levelled up too soon because your coach is normally on your arse about technique and you can always step back and wait a little longer before giving it a go again.
A few signs that you’ve levelled up too soon:
your technique goes out the window with a heavier weight
your form suffers when you try to continue for the set amount of time
you experience bad DOMS