Fitness Plateau: What comes next?

Fitness Plateau: What comes next?

We experience it in all areas. Whether it is during a diet, learning a new skill and when we workout as well. Physically or mentally, reaching a fitness plateau can seem overwhelming because we usually don’t know what to do about it.

What comes next after reaching a fitness plateau? Perhaps the first thing to do is look for indicators as to how we feel that way. The rest should be simple enough if we put in all the efforts and the confidence in believing that we can overcome a minor set back towards our goals and success!

 

What is a fitness plateau?

A plateau occurs when results stop showing in the progress one makes towards a goal, whereas it concerns weight loss, heavy loads, or skill development. The body becomes accustomed to the changes and stress we have put on it in order to grow muscles, lower body fat or improve in training.

A plateau can feel discouraging and most of the time, it is the factor which makes us quit. Before abandoning our good habits, we need to identify how we can modify our routine. In order to get through a fitness plateau, we need to enter perseverance mode.

There are 3 kinds of reactions: we either quit, keep going at the same cadence satisfied by our current results, or we look into what we can work on to reach the next level.

 

Reasons for a fitness plateau

Training Partner

Intensity

If we are wondering why we haven’t been able to lose more weight or why we haven’t been able to increase our back squat load, perhaps it is because our bodies are used to running 40min on the treadmill or the weights we currently back squat.

The solution? Modify the intensity of training to confuse muscles and give metabolism a boost. For instance, introduce interval training or work on tempo back squats can make a significant difference.

Boredom and repetitiveness

The mind plays an important role. The more motivated we are, the more effort we will put into the workout. When we develop a positive spirit in believing that nothing will stand away from our goals, we make sure we don’t miss a session, a rep, we drink enough water, feed ourselves the right away and allow the necessary recovery to improve.

We become bored because our workouts are the same each week. We lose pleasure in showing up and we give it our best. Modifying the workout or attending another class at another time can be small triggers to propel us to a new fitness level.

Training partner

Training alone at home or at the gym can be demoralising. Scheduling a class in a group setting is beneficial. Without comparing ourselves, we quickly realise that how much we have improved, or pinpoint where we need to make progress.

Inviting friends who also train by themselves is another productive routine to implement which can boost our energy levels and overcome plateaus. When we train with someone else, we often think “if she/he is doing it, so can I”, or “I want to become as good as this person”. A friendly competitive atmosphere reigns during training, uplifting our confidence and stimulating our bodies to reach higher objectives!

Injuries

Avoiding movements because of previous injuries could be the factor that refrains us from progressing. The  body is a complex machine and when we stay away from skills and drills because we do not want to wake former niggles and discomforts we limit ourselves and results.

If we are unsure of how to get back into a movement, the best plan is to schedule an appointment with a specialist whether it is a coach or a physiotherapist. Unless there had been medical prescription withholding us from engaging a specific body part, we should be able to perform any kind of exercise.

 

Overtraining and rest days

Rest To Recover

Believe or not, the body becomes tired. We might think that an hour a day doesn’t influence muscles that much but how are we handling recovery?

A lot can happen during an hour and it is our duty to respect the recovery process the body needs to regenerate and grow. Taking a day or two off should be a priority. As simple as it sounds, the main reason why we are reaching a fitness plateau is due to our lack of rest.

 

Cardio and weight: finding balance

Cardio Training

What type of workouts are we into? Lifting weights puts a toll on the central nervous system. Training needs to be alternated between cardiovascular, also known as aerobic exercises, and strength training.

As the system rebalances, we tolerate intense training, raise our energy levels and therefore see results come back faster!

Tamara Akcay

Tamara is a journalist based in London. She is a specialist in fitness, writing specifically on the topic of CrossFit.

One Reply to “Fitness Plateau: What comes next?”

  1. le crossFit et le fitness ces m’a vie tout les sports en salles et mon domaines merci a vous mes salutation Bénédict

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