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Push past your plateau persona for more progress at the gym

WORDS Cam Wild

Imagine you’re with a group of people that has just started climbing a mountain. In the first part the slope isn’t too steep so the climb is easy but as you get further and further up the mountain it starts getting harder and harder to ascend. You start to realise that what it took to get up the first part of the mountain is completely different to what it takes to get up the next part of the mountain and so on… and what happens is you eventually get stuck.

This is what we call a plateau and, when used to describe our results in the gym, it can bring a grown man to tears. The technical meaning for plateau is “a period or state of little to no growth or decline.” The word “decline” certainly doesn’t offer any consolation for all the time, effort and energy we pour into developing our physiques.

Plateaus in our training are completely normal and are to be expected, although rarely celebrated. A plateau is reached when our current efforts have reached a level of maintenance, basically when what we are doing is keeping us right where we are. Now while this can suck, it doesn’t have to – at least not for long.

The problem is most people have no idea they are stuck at a plateau so they won’t actually do anything about it. The best way to check if you’ve hit a plateau is to work out how many hours you’ve trained over the past three to six months, then divide that by the results that you’ve seen. For example, if over the past 12 weeks you have put on 2kg of muscle while training five days a week that means you’ve trained 60 hours for 2kg of muscle. That’s only 1kg for every 30 hours. Yeah, I’d be upset too.

Breaking through plateaus in the gym (strength, size etc) isn’t actually very difficult when working with a professional. Interestingly enough, once someone realises they are at a plateau they tend to take on one of three different personas: the Meathead, the Dabbler and the Weapon.


This is the kind of person who would rather keep doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same result because their friend is a personal trainer or they read something on the internet and would rather be right, than improve themselves. The lesson to learn here? Commit to being better, NOT to being right.


These are the people who google “what is the best protein powder?” and accumulate hours of internet “research” watching YouTube videos and compiling free meal plans resulting in a Frankenstein DIY job of their nutrition and training. Now I have no issue with self research, in fact I’m a HUGE fan of it – however, trying to build a car with ZERO experience is a LOT more difficult than trying to build a car with an experienced mentor. Invest in yourself, find a mentor who is generating consistent results and model their success - you’ll save yourself some serious time, effort, energy AND cash if you do!

These guys know what’s up. They smile at the challenge of another plateau, as they have formulated a proven plan to destroy these lulls in their results. The weapon’s plan involves losing the ego and asking for help, for they know the quickest path to success is the path already paved. They have made a commitment to greatness and will do whatever it takes to get there. You know the names of the weapons.

You see, as you get closer to the top of your own mountain (your dream physique) the plateaus start getting harder and harder to break through. While there are some general rules to follow, every single person responds differently to nutrition and training stimuli and consequently as you continue your ascent, your nutrition and training becomes more and more specific to you!

In order to conquer your own mountain, stop trying to conquer it alone. You’ll waste far more time effort, energy and money trying to do it yourself. Invest in someone who has a proven way to the top and the results will change your life! 

Categories: Lifestyle | Tags: Training for Men | View Count: (4141) | Return

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