What happened to those huge leaps you made when you just started with working out?
And what about those chin ups, pull ups or push ups?
It seems like you are only getting more tired.
Not as an excuse, but simply because you have never worked out this hard before.
You have given it your all. Leaning beyond your edge. Balancing above the canyon of ‘exhaustion’.
2 days straight and those 2 days ended up being 5 days and those 5 days ended up being 7 days.
Your mindset. Your diet and your workout plan. All on point, flawless.
But actually working out another day?
Not a chance, you feel sore and sorry. As if you have failed already.
The truth is you have.
Not because you weren’t working hard enough and not because you weren’t strong enough, but because you were.
And that’s why you need to know this.
Why Your Body Is Like A Formula 1 Car
Your body is like a Formula 1 car.
Speeding forward 100+ miles per hour on a training circuit.
When you are speeding however, you need to keep in mind that you are using fuel, wearing down your tires and heating up your engine.
That’s why even the fastest going people on this planet need to have a pitstop every now and then. To refuel, to change tires and to possibly deal with technical issues.
And what will happen if they don’t?
Not only do they end up losing the race, they actually guarantee they won’t win.
A ‘speedster’ like you, might hate the pitstop.
And just like a Formula 1 car driver – if given the decision – you’d rather keep going and make that extra lap than to actually stop.
But in the back of his mind even the Formula 1 car driver knows that eventually his current equipment will only bring him so far.
So just like him, you need a pitstop every now and then.
In the short term, speeding without a pitstop might give you a lead position.
In the long term it will guarantee you the ‘last position’.
The question is not whether you will crash, but when?
That’s why you are at your weakest after a workout.
Essentially, your capacity to perform has decreased.
If you’ve done a good workout, you are not at your strongest, but weakest.
You start off with an ‘original performance baseline’.
Due to your training however, you wear down your body.
Your strength gains happen in between training sessions in rest periods, actually when you are NOT working out or reducing the intensity.
Because your body is an adaptive organism.
When you workout you force adaptation through intensity and volume.
This damage is repaired to such an extent that it does not happen any more in the future.
After every pitstop, your body basically builds an extra layer of protection.
You become stronger, because your ‘original baseline strength increases’.
This is a ‘positive training effect’.
How To Program For A Positive Training Effect?
This at the same time means that if your body has adapted to a certain amount of intensity.
It does not need to change, it’s capable of dealing with it so why should it spend more energy on building more muscle or strength?
Therefore doing the same thing over and over will not make you stronger, your body needs something which is referred to as ‘progressive overload’.
You need to make the race more difficult periodically.
This means that you increasingly add a bigger load to your body.
The danger of ‘progressive overload’ is that you can ‘overload your system of repair’.
Racing too fast for too long.
You break down your body at a faster rate than you can repair your body.
This results in a ‘negative training effect’.
If you are a 80-year-old grandma in a Suzuki Swift, going 10 laps without a pitstop might be possible.
If you are a 25-year-old daredevil in a 700 horsepower car, going 10 laps without a pitstop might not be the best idea.
Simply because the amount of wear and tear you place on your car is numerous factors higher than your 80-year old equivalent.
So the difference between getting or not getting results is balancing on this threshold of challenging and going fast, while at the same time giving yourself plenty of pitstops.
Allowing you to have ‘sufficient adaptation’ while at the same time allowing your body to repair.
This process of repair/adaptation is called ‘supercomensation’.
So your progressive overload needs to give your body enough time to supercompensate.
Not enough time equals undercompensation.
Now you know why racing more for longer periods of time with less rest is not always better.
That’s why you should take ‘all day every day’ with a pinch of salt.
Contrary to popular belief, racing without pitstops will not get you from point A to B in the fastest possible way.
Knowing how to balance between positive adaptation and overtraining is essential.
In training terms ‘a pitstop’ is referred to as ‘deload’.
Which basically comes down to training at a sub maximum capacity for a period of time.
This means, you don’t lose your gains, because you are still stimulating your body.
At the same time your body is able to supercompensate.
One of the most common reasons for reaching a plateau as a calisthenics beginner is a lack of ‘supercompensation’.
And an overload of ‘depletion’.
What Is The Best Way To Deload?
By now you might be wondering, so how do I overload while at the same time allow my body to ‘supercompensate’?
You aren’t the first one to ask this question.
Basically there are a few easy things which you can do.
Firstly you can reduce the amount of reps by 50% during a period of 7 days.
Don’t go for failure.
Go for perfect form with ease.
No failure, just challenge.
Secondly, reduce the mount of workout days for a certain period of time.
Instead of working out 5 days a week, add an additional rest day.
Give yourself some extra time, go for a walk, do a morning dance.
How Often Should You Deload?
Every time you feel that you are becoming weaker every workout over a longer period of time.
Every time you are planning to increase your intensity after a period of progressive overload.
Generally, periodically after 4-6 weeks of intensity.
Too many beginners make this mistake.
Don’t be the next one.
You cannot force more results than your body is capable of naturally.
It’s easy to force adaptation when you start, simply because your body is so ‘underloaded’.
Over time however as you force yourself too much, you might end up causing a ‘negative training effect’.
At that point, introducing a ‘deload’ can actually be the best thing you can do.
Far better than working out at maximum intensity in an attempt to force a breakthrough.
Program For A Positive Effect And Finish The Race The Right Way
Those first ‘beginner’ results are great to get you going.
But it’s through consistency and patience that the real magic happens.
You know it, it’s the only thing that will get you across the gap between who you are and who you are destined to be.
The only thing that will allow you to cross that finish line.
Stop being too strong for your own good.
Accept that your body needs time.
Only the strong can accept their weakness.
That’s what makes them strong.
Keep walking along that edge.
Balance on the line.
Stop trying to finish fast. Finish STRONG.
Beast Mode ON!