Back One Step to Move Forward Two

In Mental Mastery by admin3 Comments

Sometimes you gotta push the limits.

But, unfortunately, sometimes when you do that, you realize what your limits are.

The Limit Sign

At this point trying to push further can just lead to a stalemate…or even worse, backsliding.

I’m a big proponent of listening to my body for training.

In doing this your body will “guide” you forward making progress.

It’s actually extremely easy to do, once you know the steps.

Yet when you have a specific goal in mind, you want to move straight in that direction.

And, of course, the faster the better.

But, sometimes your body doesn’t agree. Linear progression only works for a short amount of time.

Being goal driven you can then force the issue…and your body just might fight force with force, resulting in a plateau or worse, pain and injury.

What is the better option here?

Don’t force. Coax.

Sometimes you have to take a step or two backwards in order to be able to move forwards once again.

It’s a paradox. When it comes to goals in strength training, the fastest way from point A to point B is NOT a straight line. If it were there wouldn’t really be such a thing as a strength coach.

Let me give you an example…

With my beast snatch training I was getting ever closer. Hitting 80 reps in 10 minutes was great.

Over the next few workouts I tried to hit some new PR’s in different ways keeping the momentum going.

The next logical progression would be 85 or 90 reps in ten minutes.

Or the halfway mark I talked about of 50 in 5 done with ease. (The problem so far is this one isn’t easy.)

But I just wasn’t ready for them.

So then I tried again, forcing what I could do, and failed again.

Now I don’t even feel like I could do those 80 in 10 minutes. I backslid.

I’m not happy with it. I’m not proud of it.

I thought I’d “learned” this lesson before but I guess I needed a reminder.

Finally, I realized what was going on.

I wasn’t listening. I was using my body as my enemy rather than as my ally.

So over the past week or so I’ve scaled things back. Keeping it easy.

I haven’t hit any form of PR in a little while. That’s okay. I’m rebuilding my base.

Taking a step back so I can make forward progress again.

I will get there, it just may not be as fast as I would like. (Truthfully I wish I had accomplished this goal months ago.) But great things take time, and sometimes I’m a very bad judge of just how long things actually take.

Thus, I encourage you, if you’ve hit a plateau, if you’re not making progress, it may be time to regroup and then move forward once again.

Ask yourself, what direction does your body WANT to move in?



  1. You are right on, Logan

    Listening to your own body is a skill and that skill gets either better or worse. For too many people it gets worse, I’m afraid! (Unless they listen to you)

  2. Is the beast challenge another way to step back in order to take steps forward with the deadlift? Do the two seem to help each other?

    1. Author

      I have certainly noticed a crossover effect between the kb snatch and deadlift before. Can’t say I’ve been working on the deadlift lately though.

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