The workout calls for squatting and It’s the same weight you did a few weeks ago, but you can’t seem to get it up. You’ve worked on mobility so the range of motion isn’t a problem. You worked on your sticking point, so coming out of the hole isn’t so hard to push through. You even bought that weird "thigh master” gizmo from that late night infomercial because you’ll do whatever it takes at this point. As much as you don’t want to admit, you’ve hit a plateau. Everyone hits them, which doesn’t make it any less annoying, but here you are. You’re stuck.
Plateaus can show up for a number of reasons.
-For starters, our bodies become immune to the same thing over and over again. Stimulus needs to change in order for our bodies to get the signal to adapt. Switching up routines can help create some diversity in your programming.
-Other times our bodies need a break. Having a goal is great, but many times we fail to plan resting periods and don’t listen to our bodies. A plateau could be a sign that we need to rest.
- A huge mental factor related to plateaus is believing whats right in front of us and not digging deeper. We tend to take things at full value without analyzing what else could be happening. In terms of fitness, we need to resort back to consistency. If you hit a plateau with a weight, take a break, return and switch the program, and take notice of patterns in your lifts.
**That new PR should be the result of consistent lifting and adequate programming, not a “I Felt good, so I went for it,” moment.
If you base each lifting session in your future, off of that one 300lbs squat , you’re gonna have a bad time. Plateaus, albeit frustrating, are teaching tools. They provide us with valuable information about our bodies, programming, progress, and mentality. If you let a plateau get in the way of becoming a better athlete, then you have a lot to learn. Embrace the chance to learn.