As we begin our 5 weeks of assessments, there will be days where you won’t be able to level up.  While your gut reaction may be to feel like you failed or are not improving, this is actually a routine part of working out.  If you find yourself not PRing on a workout of lift, go through this 3 step process:

  1. Take 2 minutes to do an honest self evaluation.  Sometimes we don’t do as well as we had hoped on something but then do a self- assessment and realize we didn’t train consistently, had a high stress month, or had other things take priority over training.  It’s important to be honest about whether your expectations match the effort you put in so you can make a plan for next cycle.
  2. Find a bright spot.  Usually over a 10 week cycle, you see a ton of little improvements.  This means even if you don’t PR, you can still find the positive improvements you made over the last 10 weeks.  I can’t tell you the number of times we have seen people make huge improvements during a cycle and then not see it on assessing day.  Sometimes it all comes together on that one day and other times it doesn’t.  Either way it is super important to be able to sit down and come up with a bright spot anyway – this is what will keep you excited about training even when it isn’t all going how you would like.
  3. Set a plan for the future.  The last thing you want to do is set a goal for the future.  This is important because it takes your focus on the present and the past and shifts it to the future which you can still control!  Now is an extremely powerful moment to put together a plan for success for the future.  There is nothing quite like using a moment of disappointment to fuel the changes you want to make for the future.

First, take a look at the present and create a honest assessment of what you put into it.  Second, look back at what went well – you can even find positive notes in failure.  Third, make a plan for the future.  Being frustrated is completely normal, but the important part is that you don’t let that emotion overshadow all the hard work and improvement you have found.

*One last note.  Your first year will be full of PRs and level ups!  You are enjoying what is called the newbie gains and as your body learns to move better, the gains come easy and often.  When you enter the second year, you will still see lots of improvements but they will start to come less often and you will have days where you don’t level up.  One you enter your third year (and farther), it is important to look for smaller PRs.  Things like I PR’d the number of pull-ups I did in a row or I PR’d my hang clean because the PRs and level ups are harder to come by.  It is common to here someone who has been here for 3+ years say that it took 2 years to get that PR.  While this may seem like a negative, it actually makes those PRs even sweeter because you really put in the work to make it happen!