What do to when your Olympic Lifting Training has hit a Plateau?

by olyhq on February 24, 2012

Every athlete has peaks and valleys in their training.  The problem is when that valley is a sustained plateau.  We have all hit these plateaus in our Olympic weightlifting.  We hit a period where we don’t have a lot of motivation, we miss lifts, we aren’t hitting any PRs, and so on.  These plateaus occur all the way up to the top Olympic competitors.  The key is to quickly identify the plateau and take serious ACTION against it.  Different trainers will have different ways of dealing with issues, but here are a few tactics I’ve seen successfully help break through an Olympic lifting plateau over the years:

  • Take a week off – Seriously, sometimes a full week off can do the body a lot of good.  You come back and within a week or two you start smashing old PRs.
  • SLEEP MORE – We all don’t get enough sleep.  If we aren’t getting enough sleep we aren’t giving our bodies enough time to recover.
  • Switch up the workouts – Hit the track for some sprints, mix in a little HIIT training, or hit Yoga for a couple of days.  These things will have some positive effects on your training, it will focus on different metabolic pathways, and it will give you the mental change of pace you need.
  • Get to a competition – Competitions of any kind can be a wake-up call that you need to get your sh&t together.  Hit a competition and find your fire.
  • Find a new training partner or an Olympic Lifting coach – Find someone with a different methodology or find someone that will push you harder than you push yourself.
  • Switch up the venue – Try working out in a new gym, take your weights outside, whatever you want to do.  Small switches can provide big psychological changes.
  • 3-5 day intensive recovery – Spend a few days on nothing but recovery.  Work on mobility and flexibility.  Get a couple deep tissue massages or active release therapy sessions.  Spend some time in the ice bath and some time in the hot tub.  Get in lots of sleep, foam rolling, and healthy eating.  You’d be shocked what this can do for you mentally and physically.
  • Teach someone else – Sometimes coaching or teaching someone else can remind you why you love the sport of Olympic lifting…you find your passion and your motivation
  • Change in programming – If you have fallen into a routine vs. more dynamic programming, you may want to have someone who knows what they are doing spruce up your training routine.

What has worked for you in terms of breaking plateaus?  Have you tried any of these items?  Leave comments below…

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