You may hear us preach “consistency is key” and we preach this because consistency both on the gym floor and at home with nutrition is the recipe for success. There are no quick fixes or easy options and as with anything worth doing, achieving any measure of success requires time and effort. However, the problem is that the time and effort needed for success varies for each person and that there are varying factors that influence both positively or negatively those results.
It not as simple as believing that by performing a prescribed programs week in week out will result a perfect linear uptick of measurable improvement. The fluctuation in results frustrates not just you as participants in those programs but us coaches here at Hammer, especially when your consistent efforts don’t get you to where you deserve to be.
There are some factors which may hamper your efforts worth expanding on a little further:
Genetics: This is the only attribute we can’t do anything about and while we don’t want anyone to read this and think ‘well, I’m stuffed, why bother?’ the unfortunate reality is that roughly 60% of what we can achieve has already been dealt to us I’m afraid. For example, I will never run a sub 10sec 100m regardless of how much I train. There are genetic factors that will impede our progress and if you don’t have them, then there is not much point in complaining about their absence.
Training age: Not surprisingly, age is a factor in results. For example, participants that are new to exercise or those exposed to a new regime (for example, a program change/training plan change) are more than likely to adapt and progress as a result of the new stimulus and further, depending on that persons respective starting point, results may be dramatic and dare we suggest, impressive to all and sundry.
Conversely, if you have trained regularly then changes are more likely to be harder to come by. The adage that ‘the closer you get the harder it is’ is somewhat true when it comes to performance goals. Those athletes who train every day, using cutting edge sports science may still only increase performance with low nominal numbers of 5% with a 5% improvement being the difference between a gold medal and out of the top 5. Just think about that; guys that train all the time may only improve marginally and even then, that improvement has to be periodised so they peak at the right time.
Outside factors – There can be more than just physical barriers that influence performance, including sleep inconsistency, motivation, stress, illnesses or medication. We cannot discount the role these factors play in affecting training, achieving results or even testing parameters. Consider how many times have we lifted heavier the week before a testing week and then failed on that same weight during your test?
In summary, just because you are doing all the right things doesn’t necessarily mean your results will perform like stock picks by Warren Buffett; there are always peaks and troughs. However, if you stick at it, through the low periods or the periods of stagnation, more often than not those periods will not remain indefinitely and consistency will prevail. Remember, it does no one any favours when you compare yourself to others, as the playing field is different for everyone and there are many factors that influence your results. If it isn’t going your way, sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and wait a little longer or perhaps assess whether a change in approach will be the catalyst for your success.