How many of you have started with amazing results in the gym, whether it be fat loss, strength gains, or overall fitness levels, and suddenly after a few months this all stops, and you are left feeling stuck?
It can be very deflating and demotivating to suddenly stall with your progress and feel as if you are putting in all this work for nothing.
Here are three reasons why this may be happening and some tips to change these habits. Hopefully by implementing some of these you will see that progression coming back again!
1. You are only eating ‘healthy food’
Healthy food has been synonymous for years with weight loss. Cut out the chocolate and biscuits and you will be on your way to being fit and lean. This is not necessarily true. Whole and unprocessed foods should of course be the basis of everyone’s diet for health reasons, but the quantities you are eating are what matters when it comes to changing your body and its composition.
Whether your goals are dropping weight, or gaining size, the amount you are eating is one of (if not the most important) factor that is going to play a role in this. When you feel like your results and training progress has stalled, look at the number of calories you are consuming and assess whether this is in line with your goals. To lose weight you should be in a calorie deficit and to gain weight you should be in a calorie surplus. There are many free online calorie calculators you can use to estimate your maintenance calories. Input your stats into one of these and see if the amount you are eating is negatively impacting your progress.
2. Your body has adjusted to your workouts
Changing your workouts and the weights you are lifting is also key when it comes to making progress. It can be so easy to get comfortable with your training and come into the gym each week, put the same weights on the bar and bang out the same number of reps. This will only work for you for so long.
Look at how long you have been doing the same program or routine without any changes. Your body will adapt if you are not providing it with more stimulus. Changing your body is not easy, and in order to get stronger you need to make your body work harder week on week. This can be by adding more weight to an exercise, completing an extra rep, or taking a shorter rest period.
Try to mix up your training every 4-6 weeks to optimize results.
3. You are not recovering properly
When it comes to training, rest and recovery is just as important as the working out. Are you sleeping enough? Are you having days off from the gym? How are your stress levels?
7-9 hours sleep per night is what is recommended for the average adult. Going to bed the same time each night and limiting the use of electronic devices in your bedroom can be very helpful. Mobile phone use before sleep is a bad habit that can disturb your sleep quality and in turn negatively affect your rest and recovery.