4 Ways To Fix Fitness Plateaus - Bust Through
a Workout Dead End
else would you call it when you stop moving forwards and you don't
know where to go next? Also like hitting a dead end, it can make
you face the ugly fact that you now have to backtrack in the hopes
of finding a better route.
Understanding a fitness plateau is really just a fancy word for
a dead end and it brings new light into how to handle the situation.
If a dead end really is what you've hit then all you need to do
is bust down a few walls! Below are 4 of the most common reasons
why you may have hit a fitness dead end.
Reason #1 - You've Maxed Out Your Capacity for Stress
A lot of diet and exercise theory is based on the idea that stress
is the magic ingredient that causes the changes we want to see.
Unfortunately, this can set up the idea that a healthy diet or exercise
routine is all about seeing how much stress you can withstand before
you either break or just quit. Couple this with the fact that our
capacity for physical stress decreases with age and you have a sure
fire situation for creating a fitness plateau.
I propose a shift in thinking. Instead of seeking stress as the
catalyst for change, see it as more of a side effect of training.
With this perspective, the results are a product of the quality
of smart training and education as opposed to just seeing how much
punishment you can take. Improving things like technique and program
design can help you use that stress rather than abuse it.
Reason #2 - You've Maxed Out Your Lifestyle Resources
Getting in shape is an expensive journey. It costs you time, money,
energy, discipline and a host of other resources that are in high
demand by other things in your life. Many plateaus are the result
of running out of lifestyle resources. You simply don't have more
time, money, or energy to spend in advancing your results.
many might suggest making more sacrifices in lifestyle, I suggest
going with methods that are more efficient. Look for strategies
that use less time and energy. A simple home gym or an efficient
workout plan can help free up lifestyle resources giving you more
potential to advance your results.
Reason #3 - Following Very Limited Diet and Exercise Rules
Many plateaus are created from a narrow range of thinking. Programs
built upon only one or two rules can create beneficial, but very
limited results. Examples might include basing a diet on excluding
a couple of ingredients like sugar, processed food, conventionally
grown and so on. Exercise examples might include only working out
within certain parameters like a specific set and rep program or
The issue with following a narrow selection of rules is that you
can only go as far as fulfilling that rule. If you remove all processed
food from your diet, where do you go from there? If you always believe
in lifting 3 sets of 10 reps, where do you go once you've mastered
Even the most effective rule can only bring you so far. Once you've
fulfilled that rule, or set of rules to the best of your abilities,
your progress stops. The key is to think outside of the narrow scope
of those rules. Know that there's more to a healthy diet than avoiding
a few choice foods or ingredients. The human body was designed to
be strong and capable in a whole host of ways. Adopting a few new
ideas can bring in some new ways to climb around the limitations
of a few select fitness rules.
Reason #4 - Lack of Progressive Knowledge
They say the more you know, the more you grow and that's certainly
the case with fitness. Many times, a plateau is simply when we run
against the limits of our knowledge and understanding.
But you can't just go out and learn a bunch of new things and expect
better results. Knowledge may be power, but it's only powerful to
you if it progresses what you already know. It's vitally important
that the new information you learn supports the goals you want to
achieve. Just like anything else in fitness, learning new information
costs you lifestyle resources, so be picky about what you're learning
rather than just throwing time and money at the problem.
It's a firm belief of mine that fitness plateaus are not at all
necessary. They are not something you have to put up with on the
road to success. There's always another step forward you can take.
They key is keeping your mind open to the possibilities so you can