The Benefit of the Plateau

If I could give out an award for Efficiency, it would have to go to my wife, Sifu Mimi Chan.

Whether it’s filming/editing a movie, organizing an International Kung-Fu Tournament, starting her own podcast, or just running the day to day operations at Wah Lum, she gets things done.

Usually ahead of schedule.  

Recently, after completing yet another big project she said, “I know what to do for next time.” This wasn’t the first time I heard her say this and implies that she is always learning from her experiences.

In this week’s blog post, Sifu Mimi Chan shares a perfect time to reflect and maybe learn what to do for the “next time”.  Eventually, you will become more efficient in your training. Enjoy!

The Benefit of the Plateau

Students often ask me, “Why doesn’t it feel like I am improving?”   At this point I determine whether the student is:

1.     Coming to class consistently

2.     Training hard

If the first two questions are a resounding YES, then the answer is simple.  Students often hit training plateaus. 

This is not necessarily a negative thing.  In any art form or exercise program plateaus will inevitably be encountered. 

It is impossible for training to be a straight incline of progression.  If students attempt to follow the straight line of progression, they often burn out, or worse, get injured.

With consistent training you will improve, but you may not recognize the progress until months later.  It’s those unseen steps forward that in hindsight enabled your leap forward. 

During the often dreaded plateau, the right mindset allows students to get a sense of security in their training. 

Whether it is weight training, kung fu, running, or any other movement practice, you should enjoy the plateau rather than feel frustrated.  

Don’t worry about adding more weight, reps, or learning a different kung fu form all the time.

Your body has a way of telling you when it has reached a limit. Listening to these cues is the art of Tuning In

This mentality for training will allow you to take those previously unseen steps needed to reach the next plateau. 

Ever heard that ‘slow and steady wins the race’?  It’s true!

Don’t see the plateau as a negative, instead be happy that you made it to that level of training, take a moment to reflect how many steps you have taken, and know that the next plateau is waiting for you. 

Train smart.


Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi

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