You’ve started your exercise routine with best intentions, and have flown through the first few weeks seeing great results. Unfortunately, for many, the excitement of the first few weeks quickly plateaus and it can be tricky to then see noticeable progressions in your training. So, why is this?
Exercise plateaus can happen for a vast number of reasons, but I thought I’d discuss some of the most common ones I see, in order to help those of you to whom this might apply.
- You’re not eating enough. Simple as. The most common problem I come across is people under nourishing their training and then wondering why they’re unable to hit new strength goals. Within your diet you need adequate amounts of protein for muscle repair, and plenty of carbohydrates and fats to support your energy through training. Under nourishing yourself in these key areas can result in disruption to both your mood, metabolism and hormones so it’s definitely something to be mindful of. [Please seek advice from a registered nutritionist if you’re concerned]
- You’re not applying a progressive overload. Put simply, this means doing more each week within your training to allow the body to adapt and progress. It could be an extra rep, an extra km run, or added lengths in the pool. If you’re not actively challenging your body to do more, how is it ever going to know how to do more? And this doesn’t mean you whack an extra heavy plate on to your squat session, but think about applying a slow and steady build up of the exercises you’re currently doing within your training.
- You’re juggling too many balls. Yup, you heard me. And sadly not the good ones. Surprisingly another common issue I see with people not seeing results is that they’re trying to be jack of all trades but master of none. This may look something like; doing a few random classes each week, perhaps doing a few runs, and then wondering why they’re not seeing progression in their one or two strength sessions each week. Your body needs consistency with training, and constantly flip flopping from class to class may ensure you feel great from moving (which is fab) but isn’t necessarily conducive to progressing with strength goals. If gaining strength is your main goal, try and make it the focus and see the difference it makes! Always remember, anything can make you sweat, but not everything can make you better and stronger.
I hope this helped! Feel free to follow me on Instagram for more advice on weight training, fitness and exercise (and some fun too)!