Let’s be honest. Plateaus flat out suck. You train regularly and notice your numbers getting better and increasing exactly how you want. Then out of nowhere, you get stuck at the same weight or reps. Or you can’t run as far or as fast. It happens in every sport and every athlete. You just can’t move up or progress. It happens at random, you feel. I’ll be honest, I haven’t ever hit a huge plateau. I would have a bad workout or two every now and again, but never really got stuck and frustrated as bad as I was a few weeks ago. I’ve gotten much more serious about my training in the last year and had been progressing nicely. I had my form correct and was moving on up. Then I stopped. I couldn’t move more weight. I stayed at the same numbers and some even dropped by a few pounds. It got me irritated and a little down. All my hard work was now interrupted and stuck. Let me just say to anyone who is stuck in their sport: the cause is always apparent, it just isn’t easy to see. This is why I recommend keeping a fitness log or journal and tracking macronutrients and daily calories. Sleep tracking is great also if you can find a reliable app or device. I looked back at my fitness log and realized I had probably been overtraining weights and wasn’t eating enough either. I have, as of today, busted through my plateau on overhead press and on barbell squats. For those of you who are currently in a plateau, here are some tips that helped me.
1. Take a few days off.
This is very important as it lets your body fully recover and have some rest. Sometimes we overtrain ourselves and just don’t realize it. You don’t necessarily have to cease all physical activity though. Maybe find another activity that differs from your normal routine. Switch it up. I took a few days off from weights and boxed and did some cardio work.
2. Look back on your progress.
Sometimes these blocks can be mental. Go through your fitness log and look at all the hard work you have put in and how much you’ve progressed from where you started. This also may reveal the reason why you hit this plateau in the first place.
3. Track, Track, Track
I can’t stress enough how important a fitness log and nutrient tracking is for athletes. If you miss a day, don’t worry. Just get right back on it the next day. Tracking allows you to see what you haven’t been doing right or what you’ve been doing perfectly. It allows you to improve on anything that is lacking. Without it, you may not figure out why you’re stuck.
Those are some helpful tips that got me through my rut. Thanks for reading.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/85608594@N00/27567448772″>Wayne Dyer There is one grand lie – that we are limited. The only limits we have are the limits we believe</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>