Breaking the Training Plateau
The term ‘plateau’ is used in training when an individual reaches a level in which they stop improving and their results taper off. This situation can be de-motivating and put you in a mindset that makes you feel like your training is useless. The reason why we reach our peak and plateau in results is purely because our body is conditioned to that type of training. Our bodies adapt to the physical activities we perform consistently. If we continuously do the same type of exercises our body will adjust to perform those exercises efficiently. That may mean getting stronger to lift more, reducing body weight, increasing your cardiac capacity to increase endurance. Our body will eventually peak to perform these exercises with ease and they are no longer a physical challenge. This is the point when we hit the plateau.
There are ways to push past this plateau, and cross training is one of them. Cross training breaks up the usual training routine that the body is conditioned to. You start to use muscles that you don’t normally use and the body starts adapting once again to the new exercises. If you lift weights consistently just changing up your routine exercises every couple of weeks is beneficial. Training with different exercises makes training more exciting rather than doing those same dull exercises your body is used to.
Having a training journal can help keep track of improvements and detect areas of training that are stagnant. Having the journal also keeps motivation to improve and train harder. Recording weights, reps, and times of exercises are all areas that can be improved. This keeps the intensity building and prevent you from being lazy when training.
It is also important to let your body rest. Individuals who overtrain are susceptible to hitting a plateau in their training. Recovery is essential in building muscle. If your finding that you dont have that power and speed when participating in a specific sport it could simply be that your muscles hav’nt fully healed from training.
Diet can also play a big part in breaking that plateau. The amount of protein consumed is important especially if you’re lifting weights. It is recommended for weight lifters to consume 1g of protein for every pound that you weigh. So if you weigh 185 pounds you should be aiming to consume 185g of protein throughout the day. Remember to look at the nutritional value of everything you eat and drink. Try to avoid foods high in saturated fat and sugar. Eating healthy with sufficient protein will help your body grow and help repair muscle faster.
Last of all the most important tip for breaking the plateau is not giving up! Keep pushing yourself to become better. Think about how your body responds to the training your doing and base your training adjustments on this. Most of all train because you enjoy it!