Plateaus are every gym goer’s worst nightmare and they sometimes feel as though they are never ending. You change your diet, you train harder for longer and you still cannot break the shackles off! It is part and parcel of going to the gym, nobody will ever enjoy a ‘’plateau’’ free gym life because we have to be realistic. However, to be stuck for months, sometimes years is no fun and it shouldn’t happen. Even if you sit and read this now and think you are not in a plateau you might want to carry on reading – there might just be one around the corner.
Here are the most common reasons we fall into a plateau and sometimes struggle to shake them off, even when we react to the situation.
Our hormone profiles are always changing, most of the time on a marginal basis. However plateaus often occur due to a negative change in hormone production somewhere along the line. Sometimes you can become insulin resistant from the consumption of too many carbohydrates which makes it hard to remain anabolic and even harder to shift stubborn body fat. Highly stressful periods of our lives can cause an elevation in cortisol which is the ‘’stress hormone’’ which again makes burning body fat near impossible on times! To help stay on top of your endocrine system supplement with omega 3s, minerals (zinc, magnesium, calcium mainly) and rest well. Doing so can help sustain healthy hormone profiles. If your hormone levels are off any meaningful body composition changes become near impossible to achieve.
Often somebody will read about the diet of someone in great shape and copy them only to find their rate of progress is poor, at best. Acknowledge the fact that we all have our own dietary requirements therefore what works for one might not work for another. Eating the wrong diet will stop you progressing; it is as simple as that. Often when people fail to gain size they will bang their calorie intake up high with little regard for the timings of specific nutrients, and the same can be said for fat loss with the rapid reduction in calories.
Same Gym Routine
Repetitive training isn’t something which works particularly well where body recomposition (in a positive way) is concerned. The body adapts very quickly to the stains of the gym routine you are following and as a result it fails to continue forcing changes. Work on a 3 week training cycle with low repetition ranges (3-6) for week 1, moderate repetition ranges (8-15) week 2 and high repetition ranges (15-30) for week 3. This will help keep things fresh and decrease the chances of hitting a plateau.
Any of these cases sound familiar? Take action before you fall into a plateau!