Everyone has hit a sticking point or plateau at some point. This could be related to your goals of fat loss, weight gain, or strength of a certain lift. What separates those who succeed and those who fail is pushing through and breaking down the wall that is between you and the finish line. You can attempt to break through with a plan or simply keep doing what your doing, banging your head against the wall, and eventually get a crack it even though it will be painful.
Draft a Plan
When you train, you should be following a program. Whether it be for powerlifting, bodybuilding, crossfit, a running or obstacle event or overall health. This is the benefit of having the luxury of a personal trainer or coach, well a good one at least. A good trainer will discuss your goals and formulate a road map of how they plan to get you there. It is your job to navigate it when they are not present as your co-pilot. If you cannot afford a personal trainer currently, but feel you are motivated enough to make changes and have a solid background knowledge of fitness, you can pay someone a smaller fee to create a plan specific to your needs and goals. I do this for many clients and basically train them via email and text. The program is periodized to progress through the weeks and they just need to follow it each week until it is time to update it. This is the next best option to having the personal touch as it is specifically tailored to what you want to achieve. Next, you can search for a program online that has already been created for a large population. Many famous trainers and coaches have released 8 and 12 week programs. Although they are not specific to you, you will see results if the plan is based on progression.
This same concept can be applied to your diet. Your best option is having someone that is educated and knowledgable in this area to sit down and determine a plan specific to you. This should include a calorie goal and well as targeted macronutrient numbers (Carbohydrate, Fat, Protein). I find plans that don’t address these areas do not work as well in the long run. For example if you begin a diet and your body is accustomed to consuming 3000 calories/day and you immediately drop it to 2000 you will see rapid weight loss. BUT you will hit a sticking point or wall much sooner and have to reduce calories even more as opposed to starting with just a 250-300 calorie deficit per day. There are diet plans out there already in cookie cutter format, but this area is even more important to have specific to YOU since each individual is so different.
If you are not tracking your macronutrients you are at an extreme disadvantage. This is just as important when gaining weight. When in the process of gaining weight you obviously want to gain more muscle than fat, who cares what that number on the scale says? Start where you are at and add a specific amount, 250 calories/day for example. Wait two weeks and see if you are getting the results you want. If you are seeing no gains, add 250 more. If you are seeing gains, hold off on adding more until you hit stalemate again and repeat the process.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” Ben Franklin. Apply this to your training and know what you are going to do not just before you goto the gym each day, but what you are going to do for the next 4, 8 or 12 weeks. Apply this to your diet by knowing how much you are going to be eating for the coming weeks. Apply this to what you are going to eat by preparing lunches and dinners for a majority of the coming days so you will not be thrown for a loop and be forced to eat out.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or feedback on Twitter or Instagram, @LukkoV or by my contact information below.
Luke Koval Fitness