You’ve been working out for about 4 months.
You feel better, have more energy and working out has become part of your routine.
But why then don’t you look like you aspired to look? Your clothes fit slightly differently, but...shouldn’t it be more than this?
You start to build doubts and lose motivation.
When you reach this point in your journey, where it feels like progress is slowing down or you are hitting a plateau, it's more important than ever to reevaluate what you are doing and stay the course.
Let's cover two things to keep you on track, stay motivated and crush self doubt.
What does your nutrition look like?
If you’ve been working out for a while then you probably have been keeping track of your exercises, volume and intensity. But, have you been recording your nutrition?
Recording your nutrition is important. This will help you determine what kind of eating habits you have, how much water you drink, and specifics like if you're eating too little or too much.
Start recording the basics such as your main meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Simply writing down what you eat can give you a better idea of what's getting into your body and what’s lacking.
Once you have mastered the habits of recording your nutrition, you can start looking at
how much protein, carbohydrate, and fat you typically eat in a day.
It's likely you may uncover some interesting discoveries. Your protein is lower than it should be, you only eat carbs on workout days or evening snacking is more prevalent than you truly thought.
Using this newfound data to input some tweaks and new habits can really make a difference.
Do you need to modify your gym plan?
When it comes to exercise routines, a lot of us are creatures of habit. Meaning we tend to do the same things, in the same way, for longer than may be beneficial.
Like stated before knowing what your volume (weight) and intensity (sets and reps) are will help you gauge your physical progress. But it will also serve as a roadmap that can help to guide you to where changes need to be considered.
If you look back at your exercise history, you may have noticed that it has been the same for a long time. If that's the case, play with things a bit.
Instead of 3 sets, try increasing to 4, but with less reps. Some other valid options may be to increase reps within a set, adjust the tempo or speed of an exercise or increase the load that you are using.
This change in stimulus can jumpstart progress in a weight lifting program.
Try these 2 options above and it's likely that over the next 4 months you will not only find yourself far away from a plateau, but rather continuously climbing the mountain to success!