By Rhian

If you aren’t seeing the results you set out to achieve, it may be time to make some changes. Plateaus can be incredibly demotivating, but rather than throw in the towel it’s important to take a step back, evaluate what could be hindering your progress and see if you can make a few tweaks to ensure you get out as much as you put in. Plateaus are natural, so don't let frustration get the best of you. Here are 6 reasons you may not be getting results.

1. You neglect your post workout nutrition.
The care you take in recovering is almost as important as the effort you put into your training. Muscle repair and growth requires vitamin & mineral cofactors, protein and a reduction in inflammation. The best thing you can do to ensure you’re building lean muscle mass is to get easily absorbed nutrients in after you train. Protein will help repair & build muscle, while carbohydrates will replace glycogen stores (energy in the muscle). Getting specific is good when it comes to recovery - at Energy Kitchen we use Alkaline Infusion by Kiki to reduce inflammation and restore electrolyte balance, L-Glutamine for tissue repair and E3 live for a boost of vitamins and minerals.

2. You lack structure.
If your goal is to increase muscle mass or move the dial in whatever your exercise goal is, a structured and consistent routine is essential. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re working out you’re doing something great for your body, mind and overall health. But if you’re looking for specific results then a planned training program is the way to go. Structure will also reframe your approach. If it’s scheduled in for specific results it will give you more of a purpose than just fitting it in if you have time (which we rarely have an abundance of!).

3. Your stress levels are off the chart.
Stress = too much cortisol, and too much cortisol can have a plethora of unwanted, anti-muscle side effects like reduced Growth Hormone and testosterone, impaired insulin and elevated oestrogen. You’re also more likely to be downing caffeine like it’s water, which increases acidity and affects hydration. We can’t always control how much stress we have at once, but it’s certainly worth looking at ways to help yourself cope if it’s seriously impacting your life. Meditation, yoga (especially yoga nidra), reducing caffeine and screen time, and more exposure to nature can all help.

4. You avoid progression.
What does this mean? Basically, we tend to get too comfortable. If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably be feeling like every workout is a push – but once you establish a certain level of fitness your metabolism will have increased and you can hit a plateau. Pushing yourself, increasing weight and intensity, and ensuring that you’re actively making steps outside of your comfort zone to progress will help you get the results you crave.

5. You’re a sugar baby.
Excess sugar means excess insulin, and sugar builds fat stores not muscle. It also depletes nutrients, decreases motivation and energy. Whole grains, lentils, pulses, sweet vegetables & fruit in moderation should be your source of energy, not empty processed carbs or refined sugar.

6.You’re not sleeping well.
Sleep is king (and queen) when it comes to getting the most out of your workout. Growth Hormone is probably the most important hormonal influence on muscle composition, and it does its best work at night. This is when damaged muscles are repaired and new muscle tissue is synthesized. But here’s the kicker – it’s not just anytime of night that this happens. The window between 12/1am and 3 is the crucial period, and it’s only super effective if we’ve managed to get into a good enough quality sleep (aka, if your bedtime is regularly 1am, your muscles will be suffering). If you have a hard time getting good quality shut eye, try things like avoiding stimulants like sugar and caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime, late night or pre-bed screen time, and a nightly ritual that helps you wind down.


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