Plateau is word that gets bandied about all too often. Usually it’s referring to a stall in weight loss, fitness or strength. People say “I have lost 4kgs but I just can’t lose the last 2kgs….. I’ve hit a plateau” or “I can’t beat my running time….. I’ve plateau-ed” People give the plateau too much credit; they see it as a force field, that’s holding them back. But in reality it is a message from your body, telling you that you have adapted and it is time to make a change. We just need to be in tune and hear the message.
If you feel like you have reached a plateau there are many things you can do:
1. Change your training regime. If you’re weight training you can change the rep range to more reps for endurance or a heavier weight and less reps for strength. If you run for distance, you might try sprints or running intervals (hills are one of my favs). Or try something totally different like boxing or kickboxing.
2. Changing or tweaking your diet can also help if you have a weight loss or bodyfat goal. Cut out the junk food, cut back on your sugar intake, skip Friday night drinks, drink more water, eat properly portioned meals. – all of these can help you shed the kilo’s and the unwanted bodyfat.
3. Set or update your goals. Goal setting is not a once off event, it is important that we continually reassess our goals. This not only helps you to be accountable, but it also helps to keep you motivated and striving for success.
4. Look at the bigger picture. There are many things that can impact on our health, fitness, wellness and performance. Take a look at your lifestyle, ensure you’re getting enough sleep, taking time to relax and unwind. Taking the time to stretch out tight muscles or have a massage can also help you break through your plateau.
There is nothing holding you back, you are in control. If you’re feeling like you have hit a plateau, use it as a sign to shake up your routine, try something different to break through to the other side. Listen to your body, reassess your goals and celebrate your achievements.