You “train regularly, eat balanced meals, don’t eat lots of processed foods, don’t drink every weekend” but you’re still not getting anywhere with your goals.
Your results are subpar in relation to how much training you are doing and you just can’t catch a break and make some solid progress.
Many women we meet are usually working with a trainer, have been “exercising regularly for years” and lift weights 3-4x per week along with cardio sessions on top.
Wanting to get stronger and hit specific numbers in their lifts but can’t seem to squat over 50kg. Wanting to fit back into those shorts from last summer and not understanding why they suddenly got tighter.
Frustrated that they have reached a “plateau” in their training and results.
This is something that we hear on a regular basis when we first meet many women new to our facility.
Is it really a training plateau?
OR is time to get real and look at what is actually going on.
What is the secret behind these results?
The real secret is that there is no secret. The answers are not so flashy and attractive and often seem too simple. So simple that they are looked over time and time again. Searching for that new training program or that new nutrition plan that will provide the answers.
The simple stuff is the stuff that works time and time again. But the simple stuff is not always easy.
Whatever your goals may be, the following Framework will give you results time and time again.
Lets look at the areas we focus on with our ladies at BBB:
1. Training: How can I make the most out of the least amount of “work”?
Utilising compound movements and doing them really damn well. Squat, bench, deadlift, over head press and variations of these where appropriate. Learn to make a light weight feel really hard by engaging every muscle you can imagine until you feel like you are going to cramp. When you think you are tight enough, you can get tighter! Learn to execute these movements with precision from rep to rep. Don’t let yourself slack off in the 4th set, make your last rep look as clean as the first with focus and intent. You have 60 minutes to put in the best performance you can in that moment in time. Let the troubles of the day wash over you and tune into the barbell. Sprinkle your compound movements with adequate accessories to maximise these lifts. You are here to train movements not muscle groups- remember that. It is a celebration of what your body can achieve and not a punishment.
Repeat this process 2-3x per week. Progressively increasing the amount of weight you lift- slowly. Don’t get ahead of yourself, small steps daily. 2.5kg increase or add another rep. There are more ways to increase your performance than just adding more weight. Make the same weight fly up next time. Fix a technique leakage point in your movement. Add to your training age and gain experience as a lifter.
Couple your strength training with conditioning sessions 1-2x per week. Maybe you like walking outdoors or training with a partner and completing a circuit together. Do what makes you happy-but just do it. Conditioning will not make you weaker. It will make you better at recovering after sets of 10 reps and walking up steps.
2. Nutrition: eat real foods! And some of the other stuff too
Our ladies at BBB are all beautifully unique and have their own personal preferences when it comes to what they like to eat. We don’t discriminate- we eat all the food! Meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, coles packet professionals assemblers, we have it covered. In all seriousness, what we put in our mouth is so damn important. We need to be ensuring that we nourish our bodies for the daily tasks of life along with the training that we ask our bodies to complete. What plant based choices are you making? This is the first thing that we encourage all our women to look at. What vegetables make up at least half of your dinner sized plate? Are you constructing a rainbow with your vegetables throughout the day? When you think you eat enough vegetables, try again and add more. All things green, pile it up. Nourish your body with the good stuff. From here add your choice of protein and fats. Whether it be an animal source or not, the resources at our fingertips will soon let us know. Find out what might be a high protein bean source or what animal source may be a high grade option to go with our plants. Sprinkle your plate for fats- the good stuff. Nuts, avocado, olive oil. Give them all a try over different meals. Roast your vegetables, pan fry them, bake them, mash them, mince them. Whatever you do. Remember to eat them!
Keep a visual journal of your food for a few weeks and assess what is really going on. “Snap and send” is how we approach this. Our ladies will often snap and send every picture to their Coach. What they are eating, when they eat it and reflect on what they are putting in their bodies. Awareness is the first step. Are you eating in front of the tv or at your desk at work? Are you eating because you are bored or eating because you are sad? Don’t discount the true power that can unfold when you reconnect with your food again. With the help of their Coach, we can start to see patterns emerge. Tuesdays after work when you have a night in, we can see that you are grabbing for a quick fix when you get home and head to the couch after a long day. What can we do to nourish your body better at this time given you may actually be hungry?!
There is no perfect diet to follow.
The right diet is the one that you can consistently follow from day to day. The one that provides you with the energy you need to complete your training and active life with consistent progress and one that doesn’t cause you to worry and obsess about your food.
Whether this means you are eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day more frequently or 3-4 meals around a mixed schedule-whatever you find your food intake looking like, it takes honest reflection and acknowledgement as to what you are putting in your body.
If you hear yourself saying things like “I just don’t know how to make a balanced meal” or “I don’t have time to eat more” then the reality might be that its not your food that you need to focus on. Your mind is the power centre of your choices. Read on.
3. Recovery: a tired mind controls a tired body
We’re not just talking about foam rolling, trigger release and stretching. All our ladies have access to suitable recovery equipment and majority have some at home too. Spending time to release tight muscles before they train. Getting the “diggy ball” into their glutes while they watch some TV with their partner. Foam roll a tight set of quads after a heavy load that week. You train therefore you must respect this and complete your release work. Your body will soon tell you if you slack off. All these things are extremely important and should be performed before and after every training session (and often at night time before bed too). What is equally important is recovery of your power centre.
We are talking about energy management.
Have you had a big week at work and find your shoulders up by your ears from a week of tension piled up?
Is your head hitting the pillow and your mind begins to race and bring up all the troubles from the past 10 years?
Are you snapping at your Mum because she asked a simple question?
Its time to recover your mind Sister!
What do you like to do that makes you breathe a sigh of relief and relax your shoulders?
Read a book
Ask your partner for a massage
Go for a walk
Draw a picture
Go for a hike
Watch a movie
Whatever it may be. Do it. This week and every week after. Its an all the time thing not a thing you do when you are “stressed out”.
4. Mindset: fill your power centre with nothing but the good stuff
You wouldn’t put diluted petrol in your car and expect it to run smoothly to get you to your desired destination. So don’t put diluted shit into your head. Your mind is truly a powerful “muscle”. It can either make or break you. You are the only person out of the current 7.6 billion in this world who know’s whats really going on upstairs. Are you ignoring the negative thoughts that you keep telling yourself when you look at yourself in the mirror? Are you numbing the painful thoughts in your head with a tub of ice cream? Are you telling everyone that you are ok but on the inside hear only self hate over and over again?
The scariest part can often be starting. You know there is some messed up stuff going on upstairs and your just not ready to open up Pandora’s box just yet. Guess what, we are all never truly ready. But we do it anyway.
The first step is to enter the uncomfortable zone just a little bit. We encourage all our women to engage in some form of “journalling”. This could look like a regular entry or “brain dump” where you grab your journal and let the words flow. It could look like a conscious time to sit with yourself and acknowledge some of the thoughts that have emerged that day. It could be speaking with someone and getting those thoughts out in the open. “Journalling” doesn’t have to follow a traditional pen and paper approach. Its all about getting the thoughts out of your head and letting some light in- with whatever approach fits for you.
These 4 focal points are what we come back to time and time again. Each focus requires attention, care and courage.
For us to thrive in our training, one won’t work optimally without the other. The four different categories are simple and straightforward but the work is not always easy.
The reality is that progress takes investment. Investment towards yourself and your goals. Investment towards continual progress.
Which category is the one holding you back?