busting through your plateau

Hey Coach,

I have been working for a while now and have made some good progress

although I was wondering whether I need to split the workouts more.

Currently I have programmed for 30 minutes-ish and this pulls through dips

and the shoulder presses. I am not sure I am making much presses and

wondered whether this might be because these use the same muscle

groups? It could also be another of other things like not eating enough

protein or not resting enough.

I wondered if you had any ideas as I have been stuck here for a while and

it feels like I have nothing really left at about 10 reps but I can push through

to about 14 but to get to 25 seems way off!

My fellow Movement Athlete,

We all have moments where we feel like we are hitting a plateau. Whether

it is with work, a workout, or the complacency of our daily routine.

Whenever I am feeling such a way, I like to remember the words of Albert


“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

So what is the result that you want? Is it 25 reps of a dip progression? A

promotion? Or maybe just those delightful pillows that are in the display

case of the Crate and Barrel you pass daily.  Regardless of the desire,

complacency won’t bring you any closer to it. So let’s look at what shifts

can be made:

1. Workout Shifts

Up your workout time-with an increase in sets and reps, you will gain

strength and muscle endurance at a faster rate. If you make a significant

increase in the time you spend on your workout, even just once weekly, you

will find that additional exercises will enter your Movement Athlete


Choose Different Skills/Movements To Train: Your body might be indicating

that it is time to work on some different types of movement. Go into your

settings and take a look at what your skill and main move options are. Swap

one or two out with something fresh and different. Maybe the moves you

are working on are not a good match for your body at this time. Embrace

that and be open to a change.

2. Self Care

A plateau is a great opportunity to look at your daily habits and listen

closely to what your body is telling you. Are you functioning on the caffeine

machine? Chugging a 5pm double espresso so that you can have the burst

of energy you need to hit the gym. Do you get through your workout,

unsure if your shaking hands are from your sets of pullups or that espresso

buzz, only to make it home at the height of the coffee comedown? Let’s

take a closer look at what your body might be telling you.

Sleep: Maybe your body needs an extra few hours of zzzz’s. Are you taking

a longing look at your comfy cozy blankets, before dodging out the door to

enjoy your weekend freedom? Listen to your body. Take the nap. And see if

you can create the space to add some more rest into your routine.

Fuel: Are you giving your body the sorts of foods that are going to take you

through the activities you have planned for the day?  Or are you feeling

short high spikes of energy followed by an intense and lengthy comedown.

What are you asking of your body? And how can you help it to excel? Keep

a bag of nuts, a banana or a protein bar with you to have a healthy, fuel

filled snack at the ready. Take a look at what you are putting into your body,

what it is craving and how you can make adjustments so that you can

function at your peak state.

3. Reflection

The What and The Why: What things are you doing on a day to day basis?

Are they the things that you want to be doing? Is there a why behind each?

Use this plateau as a time to connect intentions with your actions. Why do

you show up to work each and every day? Why do you workout?

Sometimes a defined intention is just the perspective shift we need to bring

a whole new energy into the things that we are already doing.

Slow Down: Do you have moments where you stop and smell the roses?

Reflection time, on your own, where you can be truly present in the moment

at hand. Go for a walk, take a bath, meditate, or take the time to journal.

Constant thought and action and stimulation can be draining. Give your

mind and body the chance to be. Embrace both exactly as they are. Energy

can come from calm moments in the same way that it can come from


*Make the changes that feel right for you,  reassess and repeat. A plateau is

a call for change. Embrace that, fine tune what works for you, and don’t

forget to celebrate both the changes and gains along the way.

Clever sign off,

Coach B                              


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