Wondering why the weight on the bar isn't increasing or your 1 mile run time isn't decreasing? Don't worry, you aren't alone, for so many struggle with constantly improving their overall performances! The reality is, people are natural competitors and want to have their cake and eat it too. I have yet to come across any individual when they are just starting out that don't want to burn fat while getting faster and stronger as well.
Well, sorry to break everyone's hearts but despite what you read and see from fitness influencers, burning fat while improving your overall performance are two goals on completely different sides of the "triangle of awareness" spectrum. For those that haven't read about this in my previous blogs, every health goal that an individual has fits into one of three potential categories - Aesthetics, Performance, or Longevity.
Aesthetics - goals based around appearance. These individuals desire to burn enough total body fat to look good on the beach, flex their biceps and expose their ripped abdominals. Any aesthetic based prescription is almost always met with a nutrition protocol requiring a caloric deficit. Because of this caloric deficit, there is less energy (calories) to contribute to performance, thus, not developing a stronger or faster performance based output.
Performance - goals based around physical output. These individuals desire to get stronger, run faster and beat their competition on stage. Any performance based prescription is met with an understanding that a need at maintenance level calories is required at minimum, if not a surplus to provide the necessary energy (calories) needed for maximum recovery and performance output on a consistent basis.
Longevity - goals based around overall health and wellness. These individuals desire to simply live as long as they can and feel phenomenal while doing it. These are typically seen to be your plant based dieters and individuals performing a combination of resistance training with aerobic exercise to get the best of both worlds. Majority of the time, these individuals will stay around maintenance level calories.
**Note - every case is incredibly unique and may require a periodization of different protocols to achieve desired goals for specific individuals.
This isn't to say when first starting out on your wellness journey that you won't see advancements in the gym while being more conscious of your aesthetics but these results are typically seen due to the improvement of an individual's overall quality of their diet and increase in activity amongst other variables.
So, with all of that being said, what happens when we've been in the gym for a while and don't see improvements to our performances? Here are 3 valuable tips to break fast frustrating fitness plateaus...
1. Temporarily Reduce the Stress
Some would call this a "deload week." In short, reducing volume, intensity and overall time spent in the gym gives our bodies (and minds) the chance to recover. With this break in stress, it gives us a chance to adapt and should help with seeing an increase in performance when necessary time off has been achieved.
2. Increase Calories
When fitness programs progress over time, the chances are high that total volume and intensity increases as well. Thus, an increase in fuel is necessary to keep up with the physical demands.
3. Lifestyle Fix
This one might come to you as a surprise but is definitely necessary. When diets and recovery have been accounted for, the only variables that are left are outside of the kitchen and outside of the gym. This is when a review of your current stressors comes into play. No diet or fitness regimen is powerful enough to counteract the negative impact an abundance of stressors causes on the human body. Take a look at the hours and quality of your sleep each night as well as any other stressors that could be causing your setbacks and adjust accordingly.
As much as we all want to achieve our goals, sometimes we have to take a step backward to take two steps forward. In a world filled with hustlers and competitors, it can be easy to get caught up in the mindset to do more, thinking that your competition is getting away from you somehow. Truth is, we all need to be consistently evaluating our performances and lifestyles to make sure we are truly achieving our goals or if we aren't just making ourselves sicker in the process. If you are currently struggling with nutrition or fitness plateaus, we encourage you to reach out to Taz Fitness for accountability and support and experience why so many in our community are seeing positive results.
"Coach Taz" aka Taylor Rodriguez is owner and head coach of Taz Fitness & Nutrition. He is a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach located in Deltona, FL that coaches individuals online and in person. Taylor was a former partying pro wrestler turned fitness enthusiast after the economic downturn of 2008-2010. After losing almost 70 lbs, his new passion is to help struggling individuals find a new confidence within themselves to achieve any goal that they see possible. To begin coaching with Taylor or to request a free consultation, contact us today.
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