Why we need plateaus and a do-anywhere calisthenics workout

Happy Monday,

There’s no getting around it: plateaus suck.

I know, because I’ve been in one for the past couple of months in my jiu-jitsu training — and I can’t wait to get out of it. I’ll be honest, there have been plenty of moments during that time where the voice in my head tells me that I’ll never get better, — and I might as well just give up (I refuse to listen to it!).

When he was alive, George Leonard, one of my favorite authors (he authored Mastery among many other books about human potential), wrote a lot about plateaus, noting that for most people, “plateaus are a form of purgatory.”

But here’s the thing: we need plateaus.

While they’re undoubtedly frustrating, plateaus have a purpose.: They give us a chance to practice what we’ve learned. It takes time and repetition to learn something new and cement it into our long-term memory. The bigger the challenge, the more time we’ll likely need to internalize our new knowledge.

So next time you hit a plateau, don’t freak out — recognize that it’s just part of the process.

(Still, plateaus shouldn’t last forever. If you’ve been stuck in one for a while, here are some ways to get out of it.)

What I’m reading (book) —

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

I’ve been making a point to read more biographies versus only how-to books. This one has been recommended over and over — and I can see why! So much wisdom in it.

What I’m reading (article) —

Learn Movement Skills Faster with These 5 Motor Learning Strategies / GMB Fitness

This is a really cool article on science-backed ways to learn motor skills faster. Some of it is counterintuitive to what most of us have been taught — for example, too much feedback too quickly can actually interfere in the learning process!

A quote that inspires me —

“To be a champion, compete; to be a great champion, compete with the best; but to be the greatest champion, compete with yourself.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo

What I’m training — 

Here’s a fun calisthenics workout to try next time you need a challenge. No equipment needed! Remember, you can always adjust the number of reps and modify the exercises to fit your current fitness level.

Three new workouts — 

Core + Plyos 12-Minute HIIT Workout (12 minute, plyo box or equivalent)

Circuit Burner Time Challenge Workout (Time challenge, dip bar/parallel bars)

Heart Pounding Medicine Ball AMRAP Workout (AMRAP, medicine ball)

You can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete.

Questions? Feedback? Content requests?

Please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!

Dream bigger!

– Krista

Sign up for Krista's Movement + Mindset Mastery newsletter to get your FREE eBook, 5 Keys to Building Mental and Physical Fitness. You'll also receive weekly physical and mental fitness-related content to help get you fired up for the week ahead.

Leave a Comment