When the newbie gains die down and you’re no longer seeing the results you desire, you may have hit a plateau. A plateau can occur when the body adjusts to the workouts you’re doing and is no longer being challenged by your training style and eating habits. Although you’ve come a long way in your fitness journey, it can be pretty disheartening when you stop seeing the changes you’ve been working so hard for. Whether your goal is to gain muscle, lose weight or improve your endurance, it’s difficult to find the motivation to keep training when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to launch yourself out of this slump and see real results, fast!
Are you in a Muscle Growth Plateau?
When you begin your fitness journey, you typically see results straight away, especially if you weren’t doing much exercise previously. The newbie gains start to show, the weight drops off and you can see and feel a significant difference in your body. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last forever.
The body is an extremely adaptable vessel and can handle a lot of physical and mental stress.
It will quickly adapt to your new training and eating habits and you’ll find that you stop seeing the big changes you were once seeing at the beginning. Don’t fret! This is normal and it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, it just means you have to switch things up.
Your Why and Source of Motivation
It’s easy to lose motivation during this phase of your fitness journey and fall back into your old habits. So, the first thing you should do is look at the progress you’ve already made and fire up your desire to keep going. Get yourself excited to make new goals and switch up your regime.
Don’t let this bump in the road stop you from continuing your fitness journey, in fact, let it fuel you! Sometimes a plateau is exactly what you need to get you feeling excited about working out again. Use this as a source of motivation rather than a reason to stop altogether.
As we know, the body is extremely adaptable. When you have continued the same methods of training for a while, the body will get used to it. When gaining muscle, not only do your muscle grow but you gradually get stronger each time you train. It's important to continue to increase weight, so you’re constantly challenging your muscle each time you step into the gym.
If you’re lifting the same weight every time you train, your muscles won’t need to adapt. Increasing volume is one way to get yourself out of this frustrating plateau.
Whether that means increasing reps or increasing weight, gradually pushing yourself each time you train will make a huge difference. Even if it’s just 2 reps or 2 kg’s each time, you’ll see yourself gradually gain more muscle and get stronger over time. This doesn't mean that next time you step into the gym you should bench 100 kgs more than you’re used to. It just means that you’re pushing yourself a little bit harder than you did last week. It's awesome when you realise that a weight that was once a struggle for you becomes easy, but it’s a sign that you need to push yourself!
You might be training super hard in the gym, but the gains won’t show if you don’t support them in the kitchen. You might have been ticking all the boxes, eating healthy and staying hydrated, but if you’re not fuelling your gains with enough calories and protein, your body will eat away at your muscles to fuel your exercise.
So, you might be increasing the volume of your training, but if you’re not increasing your calories, your training is essentially counterintuitive. Nutrition is just as important as the training itself, so make sure you’re getting in good calories, so your body uses them to grow your muscles. Getting in your protein is extremely important when it comes to fuelling your gains.
If you’re struggling to have your protein intake keep up with your training, consider incorporating a protein supplement into your regime! 100% Lean Whey Protein by Genetix Nutrition packs 32 grams of clean protein per serve and comes in a variety of deliciously creamy flavours. Despite what you might think, getting in your protein is pretty easy. Simply add your favourite protein powder into smoothies and shakes or incorporate it into dessert recipes.
Take a week of planned rest and recovery
Take a break from the gym and spend the week letting your body reset. You might be thinking, ‘But don’t you need to constantly work out to build muscle?’ Wrong!
Muscle grows and develops when you’re resting and fuelling your body. You need to give your body sufficient rest between workouts, otherwise, they will never fully recover.
Overtraining is definitely an issue for some fitness fanatics and can lead to plateauing quicker than the average person. It’s important to let your body relax after your training sessions and let your muscles get their well-deserved rest.
Not only will a week of rest ensure enough repair and recovery time for your muscles, but your mentality can greatly benefit from some time away from the gym. If training has become a regular part of your routine, you might find yourself on autopilot when you hit the gym. When this happens, it’s easy to lose the motivation and drive you once had when you first started working out. This short break can help reignite the fire you had when you first started your fitness journey.
Experiencing a plateau isn’t the end of the world, in fact, it might just be the catalyst you needed to find motivation again. With these few tips, you’ll be smashing goals and building more muscle in no time!