How To Work Your Way Out Of A Plateau
Oh!! Dare he say?!? The infamous "Plateau" word. One of the scariest words in the English language (my blog my opinion). Webster Dictionary defines a plateau as "A state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress." Who would want that? I mean, all of your hard work; body is changing; you're eating right, then BAM!! Little to no progress? When plateau's develop we as humans are more apt to quit, and try to find easier, quicker ways to achieve said goals. Better yet we go to the nearest Red Robin Restaurant and gorge on the Royal Burger (the egg is the game changer. Again, my blog my opinion). Seriously though, what do we do? What do we do when you are progressing nicely, then it stops and all of a sudden nothing changes? The body-fat stops dropping, the inches stop moving, and the scale is at a stand still. There are things to do in order to "shock" the body and reignite physical progress.
I remember when I went to the Arnold Classic in 2003. I had a conversation with an IFBB pro bodybuilder named Dexter "The Blade" Jackson. I told him my bench press was stuck at 375lbs and I was trying to get to the infamous 400lbs promise land. He told me to barbll flat bench press 135lbs, and do it extremely slowly (a 10 second count going up and 10 seconds count going down for 20 reps per set). I initially laughed, but he didn't. He said, "I'm serious, do this for about a month with your chest workout." I did this for about 6 weeks. At the end of it I was able to bench 420lbs. I thought, is this all it takes? A few changes? Really, it is. The adjustment caused a "shock" to my routine and my body which caused some new muscle fiber growth.
The point is, plateau's can effect all facets of your health and fitness journey. Here are a few ways to break through your plateau and keep seeing progress:
1. Adjust your routine- This is a segue from my example above. If you've been doing the same thing for 4-5 months, maybe change it up. Switch up your routine, such as duration, movement, and intensity.
2. REST!- If you feel you've fallen into a rut physically and mentally, take some time off to help recharge and recover. You won't lose muscle, and proper rest can lead to positive growth.
3. EAT BETTER- Let's face it, we could all do a little better in the nutrition department. If you don't get the proper carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into your meal plans, you could be hurting rather than helping yourself. Quick fixes do not work, and avoiding eating certain macro-nutrients do not work. You cannot outsmart the body. It's not about "Calories-in/Calories-out." Eating quality foods keep the body moving correctly.
4. STAY THIRSTY MY FRIENDS- I always say "Water is the battery that runs the metabolism." If you're not staying hydrated properly with WATER (not flavored water, pop, or juices) your body will not operate efficently. Drinking at least 100 ounces per day is needed for inactive people. At least 120 ounces for active people.
Plateaus. We will all face them at some point in our health/fitness journey. The key is to not overreact. Make small changes in order to jump start your progress and tackle your goals!!