No matter what your goal is… running your first mile, benching 315 pounds, or fitting into a pair of cool pants that you haven’t worn in years, many times we start the process towards our goals hot out of the gate; not a barrier in sight and all jacked up off of the endorphins that a rush of motivation gives us. We might even see a large amount of progress in a short amount of time. Whether it’s in three weeks, three months, or three years, oftentimes there comes a sticking point where progress just seems to stop. These are called plateaus. Plateaus seem to be the kryptonite to our goals and can be a major influence in determining those who achieve their goals and those who get lost in the abyss of average. Although plateaus don’t have to be our worst enemies. In fact we can learn a lot from them and make them work for us. I’ll tell you how.
Start with the basics. First, make sure you are sleeping well most nights. At least 6-8 hours. As sleep is a major part of growth to any goal (weight loss, muscle gain, etc..). Second, be sure you are managing the stress in your life well. For example, creating a good work/life balance. Distress in our lives can play a major role in the chemistry of our body leading to decreased function throughout the day, including in the gym. Lastly, you should be following a fitness program that follows some sort of linear progression (progressing in weights, sets, reps, etc..) with a diet which is compatible with your goals. Your diet should keep you sufficiently nourished and allow you to recover from workouts (enough calories, proteins, vitamins/minerals). If you are missing one or more of these variables, this may be a good place to start and may be exactly what you need to focus on to get past your plateau. However, if you read through this list and are still thinking “Isaiah… I do all of this and I’m still stuck”, then your plateau is likely due to your mindset. Hear me out…
Your mindset/attitude is in direct route to your confidence. If you have the attitude and confidence that you are worth the whole world, well then.. you are worth the whole world. This same idea can be applied to whatever goal you are chasing. Attack each workout, day, or week with the intention that you will achieve whatever you set out to do. Whether that means adding another 5-10 pounds to the barbell each workout or meal prepping for the week in advance. The biggest thing is never being afraid to fail, because failure is a massive part of growth. You will never achieve if you never try. Even if you fail, try again.
Finally, it is wise to create an environment that supports your goals. Avoid negative energy. Seek out new information (ex. mentors, books, podcasts) that aid in your growth. Surround yourself with like minded people. People who share common interests and goals. People who will hold you accountable and push you when you just don’t have the juice on a certain day.
Ultimately, take charge of your goal and surely you will smash your plateau! Reach out to me with any questions or to schedule a complimentary session!
NASM - CPT
B.S Health Education
Personal Trainer, The GYM @ Milford