Why do we Plateau and how to Overcome it.

By May 22, 2013Fitness
Plateau graph image

Everyone who trains regularly has at some point experienced a plateau in the progress of their fitness levels, muscular strength, fat-loss or other training goal. Sometimes it’s a very small plateau over a short period of time and goes unnoticed but many times it halts progress and affects us psychologically chipping away at our enthusiasm and motivation for the exercise.

There a few tactics you can use to help you get going again:

  1. Firstly, are you training too often or trying to do too much in one go? Over-training is really easy to hit as you’re starting out – you get some early quick progress as your body suddenly tries to adapt to the stresses from a new routine. The frequency and intensity of the workouts r must not be overtake the rate at which your body is able to recover and adapt to the stresses of the training sessions.
  2. To keep up with the demands of intense physical activity, you need to feed the body the right type and quantity of fuels. Carbohydrates are your primary source of energy, proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue damaged in training and fats are essential for nutrient transportation and energy release.
  3. The human body adapts to stresses placed upon it relatively quickly and finds ways to preserve it-self. It simply get’s used to the training. So, a change in the training style helps to ‘’shock’’ the body back into progress – this is the reason for breaking up training programs into varied cycles through 4 to 8 weeks or so.
  4. Rest is vital for effective recovery. In that a tough training session should be followed up by a day of rest – this does not mean going for a run on the rest day. If the body is in recovery from a training session, activity can slow the recovery rate. Yes, very light cardiovascular exercise during the recovery from a tough training session can help – warmth to help get over muscle aches, increased circulation of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood the stressed areas to speed recovery – but a fitness session the day after a weights session does not make for a balanced routine.
  5. A good night’s sleep is one of the greatest tools in the recovery process. The greatest speed of recovery occurs during your sleep so 7 to 8 hours each night consistently will go a long way to making sure you are fully prepared for your next training session.
  6. Some regular exercisers and even some trainers have this misunderstanding about Calorie deficit for effective fat-loss. For example; if you expend and average of 2500 Calories per day through your normal resting metabolic rate and physical exercise together but consume just 2000 Calories, you are creating a deficit of 500 Calories per day and will achieve a healthy gradual loss in body fat. Some would lead you to believe that if you consume just 1000 Calories per day and create a deficit of 1500 Calories, your progress will be tripled. NOT SO… Too much deficit and you eventually slow your metabolism and plateau your results as well as risk injury and a lower immune system. The tortoise will definitely win this race.

Take a few minutes to review the whole picture of what effects your progress and plan to succeed.