Has the weight on the scale not been moving? Has your strength stayed the same or maybe even gone down a little bit? Have you been finding it harder to make it into the gym because of this? If any of this sounds like you, then you may be hitting a plateau!
A plateau in exercise just refers to the point in which our bodies stop making progress towards our goals. It can be caused by a number of things, but it is usually caused by too much training, not enough recovery, or not adding in variation to cause further adaptations in our body. The question is, how do we get ourselves out of a plateau? There are a few ways to go about this, and here are some of the biggest tips that I have given my clients in the past and have even used for myself when I hit a plateau:
Take a break.
Sometimes, the body just needs a break. We train hard for multiple days per week, for a few months, and our bodies take a toll. At some point, the body just needs to down time. So, take a vacation from the gym for a bit. This doesn’t mean to completely stop working. Go for hikes. Go exploring. Find ways to be active outside of the gym. You’ll be surprised how refreshed you are when you get back to the gym and how much you want to get back to the gym.
Get some sleep.
Make sure you are giving your body the proper recovery. If you are training hard, sleep is just as important as the training itself. It is recommended that you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, and maybe even sneak in a power nap throughout the day. When we are sleeping, our body takes this as an opportunity to deal with what we have done throughout the day and adapt. Not to mention, you will be able to work harder in the gym.
Get a personal trainer.
It is my job to make sure that this isn’t happening to you. Sometimes, we go into something blindly, and we end up doing too much. So, it is best that you find an expert that can help lead you in the right direction. By utilizing our programs and changes in our programs, your training won’t become stagnant, and you will be able to continue on your fitness journey towards your goals.
Change up your goals.
Every now and then, it is appropriate to change your goals. If we are always working towards weight loss, it can sometimes be frustrating. So, find a way to change up your goals every now and then, as this will change your training, and your body can adapt accordingly.
There is a quote that says “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” Do not get into this cycle of doing the same thing all the time. It will make it incredibly difficult to reach your goals. Rather, find a way to change things up and get help, and you will undoubtedly be moving towards your goals in no time!
By: Ryan McIvor