Weight training requires dedication and commitment. If you follow a good routine, you’ll lose weight, and gain strength or muscle mass– whichever your goal may be. Everything may be going great for the first month or two until you reach the dreaded plateau.
Everyone reaches plateaus, and a lot of people will quit because they no longer see results.
This isn’t a new problem, and you can overcome these plateaus to lose more weight or gain more strength and muscle. All it takes is a tweak to your current exercise and diet plan to really see results.
What is a Plateau?
What is a plateau? A plateau is defined as a stall in your progress. You may have been losing weight and gaining muscle for months, but something has changed. You’re no longer reaching your goals or growing stronger. You’re simply stuck without seeing any further results.
Plateaus usually become a problem when you’re:
- Continuing the same exercise routine.
- Continuing the same diet.
Essentially, a plateau can only be a plateau if you’re still following the same routine. This means that your diet that has worked for so long is no longer working, and the same can be said for your workout routine.
Determining if a Plateau is Reached
Before you go into full panic mode, you want to make sure that you’ve actually reached a plateau. This requires a little diligence on your part because you want to analyze everything you’re doing and write it down for a few days, or even a week.
This means that you’ll:
- Track all of your meals. I use myfitnesspal to track all of my meals and have an appropriate macronutrient breakdown, including calories, carbohydrate intake, protein intake and fat intake. If you’re still on track and your progress remains stagnant for the next week or so, you’ve reached a plateau.
- Workouts also need to be tracked. You need an accurate measurement of your workouts. Are you going to the gym as often? Are you following the same set and repetition structure? Monitor all of these metrics because skipping a set or missing a day or two at the gym can hinder your progress greatly.
- What are you doing outside of the gym? If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’ll notice your performance suffers in the gym. Your body simply won’t have enough time to rebuild muscle.
- Is your equipment up to the task? If you are doing cardio on a rowing machine and the resistance isn’t pushing you hard enough then you need to upgrade, these days it’s easy to find the best rowing machine for your budget so you can avoid this issue.
All of these factors can result in a plateau.
Progression Slowed and Not Stalled
Sometimes, people naturally assume that they’ll continue on a linear path with the