One of the most frustrating things about training is when you hit a plateau and it seems like you cannot progress any further. Hitting a plateau isn't an uncommon occurrence and while it can get you down, it's fixable. All you need to do is take a hard look at your routine to determine what may or may not be working.
These five issues are the most common reasons people plateau:
1. Too much repetition.
Everyone has certain training moves and techniques they enjoy, but whether you're in the gym or at home playing the same fitness DVD over and over, your muscles can get bored of the same old routine. Does your routine still feel difficult or do you find yourself flying through it? Changing things up on a regular basis is pivotal to keep the muscles challenged.
2. Lack of progression
Just like doing the same type of exercises over and over, doing the same number of reps or using the same weight can also lead to a plateau. Progression is necessary to continue building muscle
and losing fat for lean, strong muscles. By the end of your training routine, you should feel like you couldn't possibly do one more rep without losing proper form.
3. Your diet
As you get stronger and build up stamina, you'll start pushing your body harder. This means the body needs more fuel to get through the session and recovery properly. In order to keep making gains, you need to add more calories through protein
and carbohydrates. On the other hand, if you're eating too much of the wrong foods before and/or after training, you can also hit a snag in your progress.
4. Training too much.
Pushing your body too hard is never a good thing. If your whole life revolves are training, you're more likely to hit a plateau and run the risk of overtraining syndrome. The symptoms of overtraining include extreme fatigue, depression
, loss of appetite and aches and pains
. The body needs time to recover
between workouts to help the muscles repair themselves.
5. Training too little
Just like training too much can be a problem, so can training too infrequently. Recent research
has shown it isn't the length of the workouts but the frequency of the workouts that matters most. While a less strenuous routine is OK when you're just starting out, as you build up endurance and strength, you need to add more days to your routine. Working up to five a day is a solid goal, which gives you two rest days to allow for proper muscle recovery.
Based on these possible plateau explanations, try making adjustments to each component of your routine to see if your progress increases. Don't make extreme changes to keep your progression safe and proactive. We'll be back tomorrow with more news and tips.