Plateaus can come in many forms – mental, physical and even in your diet. We try to avoid them because they can provide a serious roadblock when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. Since everyone has different motivations and reactions, how we deal with plateaus will vary, and a cookie-cutter solution isn’t the best approach. So what is the best solution? We let our True Grit™ team weigh in:

Hugo Lopez

  • CFL Professional Athlete
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach

Hugo D. Lopez

TRUE GRIT™ BRAND AMBASSADOR

It is in our DNA to adapt to our external environments for survival. Therefore, we also adapt to our training. Out of the many methods we can use to crawl out of a plateau, my favorite is periodization. This involves changing your workout routines every four to eight weeks, which will force the body to continue adapting; and just when your body starts getting comfortable, we force it to adapt again with a different training routine. This is a great method of training for those who have a timeline with their fitness goals (which most people do).

An example would be to do a four-week phase of strength conditioning for an athlete, which would involve them doing reps ranging from 12 to 20 reps, to develop a good foundation for the upcoming phase consisting of hypertrophy. This is where we would decrease the reps (volume), slightly increase the resistance (intensity), adjust the rest times, and play around with the sets by adding drop sets, pyramids, etc. Once we know our main goal, it’s just like putting together the best ingredients possible for a recipe to success.

Casey Bergh

  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • NASM FNS Power Lifter

Casey Bergh

TRUE GRIT™ BRAND AMBASSADOR

Oftentimes the hardest part of a fat-loss diet is getting through the first few weeks. Once you settle into new habits, adjust to the lower calories and build some momentum, you are able to work more or less in cruise control, seeing week to week progress. But what happens when you are putting in the work and suddenly stop seeing results? If you’ve come to a complete standstill in your progress for more than two weeks, it may be time to take a step back and re-evaluate a few factors:

Make sure you haven’t let loose a little on weighing and tracking your food/calories. If you’re starting to eyeball your portion sizes more often than not, or eating out frequently and assuming that they’re serving up accurate portions each time, then it’s possible you’re actually consuming more calories than you’re accounting for. Returning to diligent weighing on a digital food scale may get you back on track.

If your tracking has been on point and you’re still not seeing any changes on the scale or in the mirror, then it may be time to either increase your activity levels or decrease your overall caloric intake. If you have made considerable progress already in terms of weight lost, this is a likely scenario. There’s no need to make drastic drops in your numbers, starting with just 150 to 200 fewer calories per day and sticking with that for one or two weeks will tell you if you need to drop further or add in more cardio.

Finally, don’t give up out of frustration – it’s a lot harder to take a few steps backward than to be at a temporary standstill. Staying focused and analyzing the obstacle with a logical perspective will get you through the plateau!

Dennis Neuber

  • Fitness
  • Kinesiology Major
  • Nutrition Minor
  • YouTuber

Dennis Neuber

TRUE GRIT™ BRAND AMBASSADOR

The first thing I like to look at is someone’s diet when trying to break through a training or diet plateau. Are these athletes supplying proper amounts of nutrition for their bodies to use as fuel? If so, then I like to look at their workouts. The simplest way to break through any plateau is by doing big, compound movements, such as the squat, bench and deadlift. These movements will require much more muscle recruitment, which will lead to increased muscle activation, helping anyone bust through a plateau.

Dorothy Dingba

  • NPC Bikini Competitor

Dorothy Dingba

TRUE GRIT™ BRAND AMBASSADOR

My best way to break through a training plateau is through simple changes. One suggestion is to add supersets. I like to superset with body weight exercises such as timed jump roping, squats or plyometrics for max effort. You can also superset with opposing body parts. For example, If it’s back day, superset with light chest or triceps. When it comes to diet breakthroughs, I allow myself a treat meal once a week, but I also try to get creative and try to incorporate ways to make my “prep” meals delicious. I add color and crunch with assorted veggies and nuts and experiment with low-sodium spices and herbs.

Ben Chimoski

  • NPC Men’s Physique competitor

Ben Chimoski

TRUE GRIT™ BRAND AMBASSADOR

When it comes to breaking through diet and training plateaus, you need to find what is causing your sticking point. Many times the plateau is caused by a lack of variety in the training routine as well as the diet. It is important to find a balance with both, so your body does not become accustomed to how you have been training or what nutrient sources you are feeding it. A simple solution can be changing your repetition ranges on lifts or switching the foods you choose to meet you fat-, protein- and carbohydrate-specific goals.

Once we know our main goal, it’s just like putting together the best ingredients possible for a recipe to success.

Looking to get motivated and overcome your mental, physical or dietary plateaus? We’ve got you covered with the True Muscle Trainer.