Over the past several years I have participated in some pretty amazing fitness activities. I have also met many incredible people who have spent lots of time on fitness activities, including regularly going to the gym.
I have noticed however that even so, many people come to the gym but never really go anywhere. They never seem to progress or change or even get any better at the things they do participate in. And often they are not in particularly good shape either. (Just my jaded opinion of course). Though they follow some regular exercise programs (a good thing no matter what), they just stay the same.
This has continuously raised some questions about my own fitness journey. Am I going to stay the same, no matter whether I go to the gym or not?
That seems hardly worth the effort if so. Most certainly not the point for me.
I found the answer most prominently in one of the group fitness classes that I regularly attend and have grown to really love. Body Pump. A weights based group fitness class.
So many of the people come in there week after week. They lift the same exact set of weights, never increasing never really testing their ability. Sure it seems heavy enough for them, but then?….
The secret to avoiding stagnation, it turns out, is to always test your belief of what you can do. Literally avoid the “mind over matter” state intentionally. Instead of deciding that the weight is heavy enough, try something heavier. Sure you may be right that it is, but what if you are not right? Pay attention to when it seems to get a little easier. When it does, try heavier. If you are not sure, try anyway.
This is how progress is made. If you challenge yourself, monitor, adjust and repeat, you will always grow. Always get better.
This is true for all the things you may endeavour to do. I have experienced this with Zumba as well. I keep on trying to do new moves (coordination challenge). Hard sometimes, sure. But I always get there. And it gets easier every time.
That is it. Never believe you are doing your max unless you have actually tried to do more. And try and try and try again. Never stop trying…
This way you will never fall into the stagnation trap. You will always grow and get better at it, guaranteed….