I read a Nerd Fitness article and this is what I learn.
We all had a moment like that. Whether to lose fat, gain muscle or even develop a new skill, we reach a point in our progress where all seems to stagnate :
« I lost 0.9kg (2lbs) per week for months and now since 2 weeks, nothing changes ».
« I added 2.2kg (5lbs) per week for the deadlift for 6 months but this week I lift less than before ».
« I was ran faster, I did km (miles) faster for 1 year but I can’t exceed the mark of 7 minutes ».
A plateau occurs when your progress has stagnated despite that you continue to do all the right things, which included a good diet, do exercises correctly and a proper lifestyle.
Our body can lose weight constantly and block at a number. Or you can gain muscle and get stronger and for 1 or 2 weeks, you can’t lift heavier.
This is what we call in our training « The Plateau » and we don’t like when that happens. Human being is happy when he makes progress. When we work hard for something and we don’t see progress, we aren’t happy.
Often people talk to me about their frustration at having a plateau but often it isn’t a plateau. It’s just that they’re happy with their bodies and they stopped to stay focused :
What was last meals ? When people see that their body is better, they allow themselves to eat more junk food. Then day by day, they eat more junk food and it becomes a bad habit. Track your meals.
How do you train ? We follow a workout program but when people see that their body is better, they don’t do the last rep, they do less sets, they want to finish the training earlier. If you are not completely tired at the end of your training, you will not progress. Track your workout.
Do you sleep enough ? It’s one of the things most people neglect howerver everyone know the importance of sleep. A lack of sleep increases the stress level, less time for your body to rebuild your muscles, etc.
Can you assure me that last days your quality of sleep, nutrition and exercise was excellent ? In most cases, once these things are fixed, the body progresses again.
If your exercises, your nutrition and your sleep are excellent quality, we need to find a way to win every day. « Little by little, you become less little ».
More we’re train, more we have an advanced level in our training program. So that we often reach a plateau and it’s necessary to have small victories to get through.
Track accurately your reps and sets – Find a way to have a better performance than yesterday. If you block at 4 sets of 6 repetitions of 68kg (150lbs) and you can’t do a set of 70kg (155lbs), try 4 sets of 8 reps of 68kg (150lbs). Or you can reduce your rest time. To do that, I use Jefit with my smartphone.
Collect the small victories – It is with these small victories that you exceed your limits and that you can achieve your goal. Find a way to have small victories each day that shows you that you have become better, faster and stronger.
Scale can lie. Your weight on the scale can decrease very slowly even if you progress to a healthier body simply because you have less weight to lose.
Track these things :
Take a photo every 2 weeks – Who is care that the scale doesn’t move when you have a better physique ? You feel better about yourself ? That’s progress, do you buy new clothes that fit you better ?
Take measurements – Measure the important parts of your body. Perhaps the scale doesn’t move but you gain or lose a few centimeters (inch) of waist or arm.
Track your body fat – Buy a caliper to get an estimation of your body fat. There are cases where the weight increases and the body fat percentage decreases and that’s a good sign.
The goal is to constantly prove to ourselves that we’re approaching our goal.
« If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them ».
How did you do to overcome a plateau ?
P.S: Do you want a free training program? Click here