3 Reasons Why You Might Have Hit A Plateau
As someone who's been training for 8+ years, I can guarantee you there will be many times during your fitness journey where you’ll feel like you’ve hit a wall. It might be that you feel uninspired to workout, you can’t get past a certain weight on your squat or maybe your weightloss has plateaued. Either way, it’s something we all encounter at some point and it can really affect your momentum.
The first thing to do when you feel stuck is to stop and assess what you are doing. If you think you're doing everything right and nothing's changing, you're probably doing something wrong. Sorry.
Guessing never gets us far. We can’t know what the problem is until we take a step back, look at the whole picture and identify the leak in the boat. It takes courage to be that truthful with ourselves about our efforts and consistency. It’s more comfortable to just keep doing what we’re doing, to stay stuck in the mud, than to face an uncomfortable truth and get out of there, right?
There are many reasons why you might have hit a plateau but let me talk you through the most common ones that I find as a coach.
Reason #1 - You're not doing the right things.
A lot of people people work really hard and are frustrated with their lack of progress. It’s not that there is a problem with their effort. The problem lies with where that effort and energy is being directed. If your Satnav isn’t programmed to the right destination, you’re not going to get there. You might eventually figure it out, but it will take you a hell of a lot longer than if you were on the right route. See where I’m going with this?
If you’re trying to lose weight, are you in a suitable calorie deficit? Are you moving enough? Are you lifting weights? Are you prioritising sleep and recovery?
If you’re trying to build muscle, are you in a suitable calorie surplus? Are you pushing yourself in your training? Are you lifting enough? Are you prioritising sleep and recovery?
There might be something very small that is in fact stunting your growth. As a first step, take a look at the big picture and ask yourself: am I doing the right things? Are they aligned with my goals? If not, it’s time to make some changes. I can help you with this.
Reason #2 - You're not doing enough.
You can't get mad about mediocre results when you're putting in mediocre effort. What do you expect? This whole fitness thing is hard. It looks easy and a lot of people underestimate how much it takes. You need to WERK. I educate my clients about the need for calm and rest and recovery, but you do need to be providing enough of a stimulus to recover from in the first place. On training days, are you giving 110% or are you staying in your comfort zone? If the intensity isn’t there when it needs to be, you’re going to go in circles. So get real with yourself about your effort before you call it a plateau.
Reason #3 - You're doing too much.
On the flip side, is too much intensity the problem? Do you workout 5 days in a row without rest? Do you do a 20 minute conditioning session at the end of each workout when your initial goal was muscle building and strength? Often when it comes to training, more isn’t good - it’s just more, and you could get the same results, or better, by doing less. So yes, intensity is important, but not every workout has to be about that. Not every workout has to leave your nervous system in tatters. Your recovery is just as important as the work itself, so make sure you actually have an opportunity to recover.
Hitting a plateau can be frustrating, but it’s not a life sentence.
Chances are there’s just a couple of things which are not quite aligned. Assess your programming, your nutrition and your recovery before you jump to the conclusion that “this just isn’t for you.”
It is, I promise. You just need to reset the address on the satnav.
If you need help with that, my online coaching is open. Click here to apply.