Why won't my weights go up?! Training plateaus and 6 ways to beat them
When you first started weightlifting you were smashing records all the time and you were smiling and celebrating almost daily because there was always something new to be excited about. Now you turn up to training and put in hard work day in and day out and you're still not seeing progress on the platform. It leaves you a little heartbroken, thinking it's all your fault and questioning whether weightlifting is for you or not. Maybe it's the program's fault, or there weren't the right stars aligned at the right moment… you get where I'm going with this right?! It's no one's fault, you just have to find out why it is happening
There are several common reasons people hit plateaus in weightlifting and powerlifting. Some of them are really obvious and some of them are just hard and time consuming (which is why only the best keep moving up).
1. Stick to 1 programme
People bounce off a new programme every 4-6 weeks sometimes even less! That's just ridiculous. Yes there are programs out there for you that are short term, no they won't get you long term goals. If you are an experienced lifter, you need a personalised programme that suits your needs and abilities so you can stick to it for 3-24 months (that's right, a good programme is well thought out and takes commitment to get results). If you can't commit to a programme the you will never see the results you want.
2. Get a coach
We see everything that you don't and we know all the tricks you wish that you had thought of. A good coach will get the very best out of you in every training session and and help deliver sound advice for a programme and how to continue to grow. This isn't really optional once you get to a certain level. You need professional eyes on you to succeed.
3. Fix that diet
Yep, that's right. If you eat poorly, you recover poorly. Simple as that. Fix your diet so you have high quality nutrient dense foods regularly and watch the gains train take off.
4. Mobilise regularly
Seems like an easy one but this is without a doubt the hardest thing to encourage people to do. Taking an extra 5-25 minutes per day to keep their body in check. There are ways to find this amount of time in the day and it's really a simple thing to help get results sooner rather than later. Work on those tight areas, loosen up the hips or shoulders. Get rid of calf cramps… whatever it is, find the time and watch your results soar.
5. Train with a purpose
Set some goals and your coach will ensure that you chip away at them one at a time. If you have a good coach they will have you already setting goals and smashing them on a regular basis.
This also means how you train, you need to turn up to every training session, not just be there going through the motions. Warm up, get fired up and get ready to take on the world.
Make sure you have a deload phase in your training or something that gives your body a rest in the programme. You can't keep smashing the body and expect it to grow. Most athletes hate back off week so I like to help them think of it as growing week. If you deload right, you'll grow and be able to hit new pr’s soon.
The final piece of advice I will give is to train smart. If you attack your training like a meathead with no purpose then you will get no results and usually end up injured. So in closing I leave you with what I will call my ‘continued advice’.
Lift smart, train hard, and you'll set pr’s