The Plateau

Being a new CrossFitter can be awesome. Yes, it's hard, but you are constantly hitting PRs and rapidly developing new skills. At the same time, you’re starting to feel like your body can do anything; your clothes are fitting better; you just feel good. You change your diet, and your results in and out of the gym accelerate rapidly. You are winning all the things.

You don't have to have a 400+ deadlift to keep up with a toddler, but you're certainly welcome to have one.

You don't have to have a 400+ deadlift to keep up with a toddler, but you're certainly welcome to have one.

Being a new CrossFitter can be awesome. However, you will not be a new CrossFitter forever. After you’ve spent a couple years eating well and working hard, your body will reach a comfortable point where it is generally healthy and happy. You may become frustrated that the numbers on the scale are no longer going down, or that the weights on your lifts are no longer going up.

When this plateau happens, there are many contributing factors that you can evaluate. We will be addressing these in the coming weeks, but first you need to consider: what do you actually want?

If your true goal is just general health, and you are happy with you current nutritional and training habits, congratulations! You have achieved the status of “generally healthy!” At this point, you might you need to reassess your goals.

You may have reached a strength plateau that you will not be able to break through without dramatically increasing food intake or training volume. If you do not wish to alter these areas of your life, it may be better for you to acknowledge that you’ve found a routine that works for you. This is not a bad thing. Maintain your good habits and turn your goals towards things like your Olympic lifting technique, gymnastic skills or metabolic conditioning.

Don't pursue a number. Pursue health!

Don't pursue a number. Pursue health!

If weight loss is still your primary goal, first figure out what your weight loss goal is. Sometimes, especially if you started at a particularly unhealthy weight, you fail to realize how far you’ve come. The mindset that you need to lose weight and the habit of restricting your food intake may become so second nature that you may miss the point where you actually find yourself at a healthy weight for you body. The first thing you need to do is determine the end goal for your body and whether or not you’ve reached it.

If you find that you still truly have some work to do in the weight loss department. Be patient. Follow the strength programming, but remember that a numbers gain is not your primary goal.

"I ate 10 lbs of food today. What did you eat?"

"I ate 10 lbs of food today. What did you eat?"

If you decide that a strength gain is what you want next, then you will probably need to up your food intake. Eating to make strength gains looks pretty different from eating to lose weight. It will probably come with a weight gain, and it may not immediately look like lean muscle. If you want to go down this road, talk to your coach, or wait for our upcoming post on eating for gains.

However, if you’re impatient to get started, you could always just eat like The Rock.