Top 3 Plateau Busters

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You are finally in a groove, things are going your way and progress over the last four or five weeks has been amazing!
Then….
It all comes to and end and you stop seeing progress.  You haven’t been cheating and you are doing everything in your program to the best of your ability.  What are you supposed to do?
You are doing exactly what you have been doing over the last few weeks to get results?
There it is, the answer to your problem is right in front of you!  You have been doing the exact same thing for weeks.
When you make changes in your nutrition and your training programs you body does what it is supposed to do and it adapts to those changes.
Let’s first take a look at why you are stalled out:

  1. You are burning less calories because you are lighter.
  2. You are burning less calories because your body is more efficient at completing the training program
  3. You have overtrained your body causing it to start breaking down and stopping forward progress.

With these three main causes of reaching a plateu I have a few solutions for you:

  1. You need to start picking up your workouts!

You should start striving to do more work in the same amount or less time than you usually do.   If you can start to do more work you will push your body to new limits and you will start seeing progress again.
There are a few ways to get more work done.  The easiest way that you can get in more work is to decrease your rest time between sets.  Instead of resting for 45 seconds between sets rest 30s or complete two exercises with no rest and then rest at the end of the two.   You can set a timer for your workout and each time you do the workout you simply try to beat the time that you completed the workout before.
If you want to simply add reps or do more weight you can do this as long as you stay within your time frame for the workout.  If it takes you 45 minutes to complete your workout and you add in one set per exercise, add one rep per set, or add 5 lbs to each set and complete it in the same time that is a vast improvement.
It doesn’t have to be complicated to work

2.You need to change the focus of your workouts.

Are you completing mostly strength workouts?  If so, then you should start to incorporate more metabolic work at the end or on off days to pick up the metabolism.
Are you completing mostly metabolic work or cardio?  If so, then you should add in some real strength training to increase lean body mass.   This alone will help to increase your metabolism and calories burned in a day.
The ideal situation would be two pure strength workouts with a short metabolic conditioning finisher at the end and two purely metabolic workouts each week.  This would be like two personal training sessions focused on strength and power and then two boot camps focused on your metabolic conditioning and cardio.
You can get by without one or the other, but at some point you will have to challenge yourself.

3. You need to take a look at your nutrition.

Many times when you hit a plateau you have allowed some of the not so supportive nutrition habits that got you to your starting position back into your life a little a time.   If you have started just having a few pieces of candy at work each day because you were doing so well you can rest assured you will plateau.

Many times we don’t even realize that we are doing this until we really take a good hard look at our nutrition.

You can also start to clean up some things that you have held on to because you didn’t need to eliminate them to get results before this point.   If you need to stop drinking every weekend to make progresss you might want to consider giving it a try.  It might be as simple as not eating out for lunch or dinner three or four times per week or  just removing the bagels from your pantry because you can’t resist them in the mornings.

Complete a three day assessment and journal everything you are eating for a workout day, a non workout day and a weekend day.    This will give a good representation of what you are comsuming.

Give it a try and you might be surprised at what you find!  Don’t lie!  The more honest you are to yourself the better you can help yourself.

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