What do I do when the progress stops?

You can picture it right now.

You’ve been going to the gym for the last couple of months.

You’ve got over the fear of getting started

You’ve started to get a handle on the workouts you’re doing

You’ve seen regular progress

You’re friends and family are telling you how good you look

And then it happens

You jump on the scales……and there’s no progress

The scales must be broken

You hop off, move them an inch or so because the floor is much flatter there

No!

They still say the same

Success is Over!

Progress comes and goes

Like anything in life, we can’t always be making forward progress.

Life is like a game of chess. To get ahead we sometimes move sideways or backwards in order to move forwards.

Unless we’re talking weight loss.

Then chess is out the window

We’re only heading in one direction!

We don’t have any time for plateaus.

Plateaus – our natural resting spot

In the world of nutrition & fitness, the word “plateau” has a bad rap.

In essence, it suggests a lack of progress, stagnancy, a sign of something going wrong.

Sure, it’s frustrating to go from seeing improvements & changes regularly to not seeing any at all.

But what if a plateau was really just your body’s way of telling you it’s time to celebrate what you’ve already achieved?

By its very definition, a plateau is an area of flattish ground, reached after an ascent.

You’ve worked hard, been consistent in your approach and achieved results, but now you’ve naturally levelled off.

Perfect!

This is what we want to achieve.

A pro athlete knows they peak for certain times of the sporting calendar. They don’t mindlessly beat themselves into the ground day after day.

They have a coach they trust that guides them through the maze of training, nutrition, sleep, recovery and so on.

You’re no different.

You need the same kind of coaching influence when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Your coach should be making it clear to you that you can’t be smashing yourself silly every day you’re at the gym, that you can’t expect to continue to lose large amounts of weight week in week out.

Your body is amazing and can adjust to new habits and routines pretty quickly.

What was once challenging can become relatively easy, but that’s a sign that we are getting stronger, faster, or better!

A plateau could also mean that you’ve achieved the outcomes of your current fitness or nutrition programme

So what do you do from here?

Ask yourself the following:

Are you getting enough (quality) sleep?

Sleep is one of your greatest allies when getting fitter and/or losing weight.

If you’re not seeing success here, you’ll plateau earlier then necessary.

Try turning off those electronics when climbing into bed (phone, tv, computer) so you can get the recommended 7-8 hours a night.

Sleep is essential to recovery, fat burn and muscle growth!

If you are functioning on less than ample sleep, make this your first priority.

Are you staying hydrated? 

Water is crucial to your ongoing success.

Make your goal to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water per day.

Water is involved with every metabolic process, which means you need to stay hydrated to ensure optimal metabolism (burning calories throughout the day).

Also, dehydration can cause fatigue and if you’re hitting a wall, you’ll need all the energy you can get. 

Are you overtraining? 

If you’d rather burn out than fade away, this one’s for you.

It’s great to go all in, and if you have the energy to push past your limits, and/or train for several days back to back, that’s amazing!

Just don’t forget your best progress is made when you’re recovering from this work.

Make sure you’re not stifling improvement by overworking yourself.

Again, if your body is constantly exhausted, it will not be operating at its full capacity, and as a result, performance and weight loss may drop.

Factor in regular rest days and lower intensity training pieces.

Is your level of intensity too low? 

If you’re working out regularly, but you are able to hold a conversation throughout all of your workouts, you might need to pick up the pace.

Get that heart rate up!

Dipping into the “discomfort zone” more frequently will ensure that you’re not coasting through a workout (coasting = minimal calorie burn).

Remember, our bodies adapt quickly, so a workout that had you dying 6 months ago might feel like a cakewalk now. 

Vary your training with a blend of strength and cardio work.

 

Are you tracking your habits? 

Fail to plan, plan to fail!

If you’re not tracking & logging your training and nutrition habits, you’re missing out on one of the most important aspects of successful weight loss and muscle gain.

If you started working out with the goal of becoming healthier, we applaud you!

But remember that fitness takes up about one hour of your day.

That leaves 23 hours for you to decide: Will I support my healthy lifestyle with good choices, or sabotage it with unhealthy habits? 

Knowing what you’re doing,  when you’re doing it and why will give you valuable information to move forward from your plateau.

If you see poor habits poking their heads up on a regular basis, you know what you need to change to move forward.

If you’re logging your food, but are unsure of whether or not you’re eating the right amount for your body and your goals, it’s time to call in an expert.

If you have reached a plateau, chances are, one of these five things will be the missing link to your success. 

Here’s to OBLITERATING plateaus!

You’re ready to get started.

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