Has your car ever stalled? It happened to me once, at a particularly choice moment,  when I was trying to get the girls off to school. It’s not a fun experience. For most of us, stalling cannot be avoided, especially if we like to push the limits.  At some point in our weight training we will stall. In our quest to lose more weight we will stall.  While on our journey to a 10K personal record we will stall.  The majority of people who experience stalling find that it is due to our: training, diet, sleep, recovery, rest in between sets or it just comes down to poor planning. 


Let’s look at performance and see how we can avoid the pitfalls of stalling. As a former track and cross country runner and now lover of heavy squats I know this feeling and I know it well.  I’ve stalled many times in my training and I have never once hit my full potential.  So if you are a runner, triathlete, mountain biker, weight lifter, or someone who just loves to push their limits but feel like there’s a little more in you, here’s my best tips to give your body the jumpstart it needs. 

  1. Keep a detailed log that keeps track of: training, sleep, diet, recovery, and anything else that could affect your training both positively or negatively.
  2. Audit your diet; most athletes do not eat enough.  This will affect your ability to recover.  Protein, carbs, and fats  (your macros) should all be on point with your training.  Most people often come up short with adequate levels of protein. If you are over 40 you especially have to make sure your protein levels are a bit higher because you do not digest protein as well.
  3. Rest! You could be overtraining or overextending yourself during workouts.  Make sure you are getting your rest in. Read more about this here.
  4. Biting off more than you can chew.  We’ve all been trying to lift heavier loads, run faster intervals, or trying to match someone else’s workout before we are ready.  These things can cost you dearly.  Be patient with your training. 
  5. Add another set of eyes.  Get a coach to review your training; sometimes a small tweak can be a game changer. 

Weight Loss

Stalling with weight loss is very similar to stalling with your performance. It can be extremely frustrating and can start to chip away at your motivation.  Here are some quick tips to help you overcome being stuck.

  1. Keep a food journal or log onto the myfitness pal app.  Your calorie intake might be more than it should be.  Keeping track of what you put into your body everyday will help you stay on track and see where adjustments can be made.
  2. Stop doing the same workouts you did 4-6 weeks ago.  If you consistently work out, but you are doing the exact same workout without changing any of the variables up you will stall. The variables being: intensity, load (heavier weights), duration, frequency, or speed.  Change things up!
  3. Pay a visit to the weight room.  The gym, without a doubt, can be an intimidating place. As a result most people stick to the cardio section and try to cardio themselves skinny.  Muscle loves to burn calories! Weight training will help not only get you stronger, but will also help you maintain and build muscle mass.  You’ve got to lift! 
  4. Don’t undo all your hard work on the weekends.  Booze, crappy food, and bad sleep can sabotage your weight loss. Stay on point as best as you can, even on the weekends, it all counts!
  5. Be Patient!  It takes times to get results, so don’t get discouraged early in the game. Keep plugging away and the results will follow and your hard work will pay off.

Stick to the Plan

Most stalling is due to not executing on your plan.  So you have to be diligent with all the steps you should be following.  As frustrating as it can be, just by making a tweak here and there can knock down that door and get you through to the other side.

Image Credit: Noah Kuhn on Unsplash

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