Progress Stalled and You Don’t Know Why?
Has your weight loss or muscle building or strength progress stalled? There are a lot of variables at play and it’s sometimes hard to determine which one(s) have caused the plateau.
Use this checklist, compliments of Andrew Heming at T-Nation.com (plus a few of my own suggestions in blue) to find out why.
· Do I have a clearly defined goal?
· Is my training focused on my goal or am I distracting myself with cool but non-essential exercises or techniques? (Or am I trying to accomplish too many goals at once without focusing on any?)
· Do I have unrealistic expectations? (Am I trying to be ripped by Tuesday” Am I expecting to gain 40 pounds of muscle in a month?)
· Am I doing the big, hard, uncomfortable, result-producing exercises?
· Am I keeping a training journal?
· Am I getting better at these exercises by regularly adding weight?
· Am I training consistently?
· Am I following a program for an appropriate amount of time or am I program-hopping? (Or conversely, have I been using the same program for too long?)
· Am I consistently monitoring goal-relevant assessments? (e.g. measurements)
· Is my nutrition on track? Am I keeping a food log?
· Am I consistently using the right supplements for my goals?
· Do I get enough sleep?
· Am I getting sufficient rest? (Is that two-hour game of pick-up basketball killing my muscle gains?)
· Am I managing stress effectively?
· Am I training with good effective form or just using a lot of wasted effort without concentrating on doing it properly? Sloppy form is wasted effort.
· Am I just adding more and more volume to overcome a plateau? “More” isn't always the answer.
Many people mistakenly look for a programming solution when they aren’t practicing sound training, nutrition or lifestyle habits.
Progress doesn’t happen in a linear fashion. It happens in fits and starts. If you are doing all of the above correctly then give it time.