Fitness Plateaus And How To Overcome Them
Have you been consistent with your workout, but have stopped seeing results? You may have hit a fitness plateau.
The first few weeks or months of an effective fitness plan is usually rewarding—fat melts right off and muscle seems to appear out of nowhere. Then you hit a fitness plateau that stops your progress in its tracks.
Fitness plateaus are a common, but not inevitable, result of engaging in an established exercise routine.
A fitness plateau is when your progress towards a goal stalls out, even though you continue the same eating and exercise program that had been working well.
About Fitness Plateaus
The body plateaus when it becomes accustomed to the stresses placed upon it through exercise. The body can also acclimate to a certain caloric intake, so you don’t lose as much weight even though you eat and exercise the same.
The reason behind plateaus is the lack of strategic modifications in your training program. The correct modifications at the right time prevent your body from acclimating to exercise routines.
Adjusting caloric intake according to metabolism can provide the calories your body needs for more muscle growth. Also, training too often or training too long can lead to overtraining syndrome (OTS), which inevitably leads to plateaus and peaking frustration.
When you hit a fitness plateau, you can quit, continue training without benefit, or overcome the plateau with these simple tricks.
What To Do When You Hit A Plateau
Assess your plateau and the possible reasons behind it.
Try to be as honest as possible in your assessment—recognize those instances where your motivation has fallen off and those shortcuts that have snuck their way into your workout routine.
After completing a thorough assessment of your fitness plateau and identification of possible causes, develop a plan of action that addresses the specific causes of your plateau. Action can include changing the type of exercise that you do, as well as the number of sets, repetitions, etc. Action can also include changes to the intensity or the length of your workout. Taking action will produce change and provide you with the best opportunity to progress past any fitness plateaus.
Change your workout routine.
Simply doing more of the same old thing will not help you summit and overcome your fitness plateaus—you have to change your fitness routine whenever your body acclimates to your old routine. Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or an ambitious circuit training class. You can even add rowing for low-impact cardio training.
Make only one or two small changes at a time.
While you might be tempted to make several sweeping changes to your routine to overcome plateaus, implementing too many adjustments at once makes it hard to figure out which ones worked.
Assess the effects of the changes after about a week.
If the changes helped you progress towards your fitness goals, make those changes a permanent part of your fitness routine. If not, change one or two more aspects of your fitness routine.
Consider your caloric intake.
Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you take in; muscle building can only happen when you give your body enough nutrition to build tissue. Many people try exercising harder when they stop making progress towards their fitness goals of losing weight or building muscle. While this approach works most of the time, sometimes the trick to overcoming a plateau is to adjust what you eat.
Stay motivated, but relaxed.
Keep the motivation high, but reduce unnecessary pressure on yourself as stress is associated with weight gain and other factors that might lead to fitness plateaus. This means stressing out about your fitness plateaus can actually cause them to happen.
Stress causes the body to produce the stress hormone cortisol, which stimulates fat and cholesterol metabolism the body uses for instant energy. Cortisol also stimulates the production of insulin—a hormone that allows the muscles to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Drawing sugar from the bloodstream lowers blood sugar levels, which stimulates your appetite.
Overcome plateaus with advanced fitness technology.
Take advantage of today’s advanced fitness technology. The fitness world is constantly evolving due to research in biomechanics and improved exercise technologies. The evolution of the fitness world provides better results that can help catapult you over your plateaus. Infused with the latest in fitness technology, today’s fitness products are accessible, affordable, and effective.
How To Avoid Hitting A Plateau (Again)
Recognize the signs of fitness plateaus.
You know you have hit a plateau when you stop gaining muscle mass, you become unable to add more weight to your sets, or you fail to lose weight. You might have tripped over a fitness plateau if you started out making significant gains on a sports goal, such as improving your time on a one-mile run, but your progress has slowed or even stalled out completely.
Resist the temptation to turn your fitness program into an endurance event. Overtraining quickly leads to acclimation.
Keep your workouts short, but effective.
Effective workouts help you make progress towards your fitness goals; short workouts keep you motivated and provide plenty of room to increase intensity when you need to overcome a plateau.
Try this Hiit Tabata workout!
Separate your weight training from your cardio training.
Use ProForm equipment.
ProForm equipment brings your training to a whole new level. Designed to help you reach your goals faster than ever before. ProForm offers a variety of fitness equipment that includes treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, HIIT trainers, cross training equipment and iFit®, which is your personal nutrition, exercise, and sleep coach that recommends specific workouts and delicious recipes to help you overcome plateaus.
Overcome and avoid plateaus to reach your weight loss, muscle building, or other fitness goals by identifying plateaus and making the necessary changes to overcome them. Whatever you do, do not let fitness plateaus prevent you from reaching your goals.