Mastery Curve

mastery curveYearly Curve

Start out slow (first 3+ months)

The first year always starts off slow. There is a period when you are learning all the basics and trying to figure out the schedule, names of all the movements and to get your body to start cooperating and doing the things you are asking it to do.

Steep progress curve (18 months)

Once you are past the newbie stuff you are off to the races. This is the easy part. Just show up and this happens. The first year and a half is always easy and full of PR’s and results. Your body is just catching up with your potential. You are learning how to do things, getting in some practice, consistency and bam! A whole new you!

Down the curve

Set-backs or lack of motivation can set in. This is common for almost everyone. Things were going so well that you just keep pushing yourself. Chasing the numbers and PR’s is common. The only problem is it is not sustainable. Once you get past the beginner stage it is time for a more personal approach. Without mastering all aspects of your training, intensity just leads to overuse, muscle pulls, aches and pains and an overall lack of motivation. This is where your coaches come in. This is why you are here! Everyone goes through this part of training. The key is never quitting and working through it with your coach to come up with a game plan to get back on track.


This is where everyone thinks something is wrong and something needs to be switched up. Understanding that everyday is not an epic PR day is key to long-term success. Once you are past the beginner stage of training things slow down. More focus needs to be put on logging volume with proper periodization than pushing your limits. Your body needs time to adapt, slowly. Work with your coach to have a game plan when you are in this part of your training. It may be time to focus on one part of your overall training plan to make gains. Maybe it is your conditioning, diet, recovery, gymnastics or your Olympic weightlifting. Don’t panic. You are learning how to train for the rest of your life.

Steep progress curve

This comes again out of nowhere. And when it does you feel that same rush you did as a beginner. Just remember that this is a part of your training. It doesn’t happen daily. Also, remember what happens when you stay focused in this area. Overuse injuries, burnout and lack of motivation can come on quickly. Small hits in this area is better for long term success.

Final Thought

While chasing mastery this cycle repeats itself. We live by the concept of proper progression and mastery. Just because you can do a muscle up or a heavy snatch doesn’t mean you should be doing it. PR’s are not impressive if you have major technical flaws. In training, long term health and wellness should never be compromised for short term glory. If you have skipped proper progressions and development, it is only a matter of time before something breaks. The key is to learn from each phase year after year. Learn how to stay in the downward curve and plateau stage less and less as the years go by.mastery curve

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