In the first few months of exercise and training, you’ll notice positive results if you keep at it. The outcome becomes less obvious as you continue with the workout because your body gets used to the exercises. You might have noticed that it is challenging to perform an exercise on the first days of a workout program, but your routine gets better as the days progress. In fact, it becomes very easy to do the same exercise.
Your body yields to the demands of any training fast. With time, the difficult-to-do exercises become easier and don’t yield any results. This is referred to as a training plateau, a situation where you feel bored and unmotivated because your training isn’t bearing fruits.
A training plateau is your body saying it’s time for a new training program. So, how do you fix this stage of comfort and stagnation? Here are five steps to help you get your groove back and achieve results from your training.
Change your exercise routine
Doing the same exercises daily can lead to redundancy, and your muscles quickly adopt these exercises as part of your normal activities. Chances are you’ll not improve by sticking to the same exercises for six months.
The first step is identifying the exercises you’ve done for ages. You might need a personal trainer to check your training program and recommend a few changes. With this recommendation, you can start making small changes before a complete overhaul. An online personal trainer course can also give you insights on where to get started when changing your workout routine.
You want to vary your training regimen. If you are used to pushups, you can try bench press. If you always train indoors, you can take your workout outside. Another option is to incorporate cross-training. Varying training regimen works different muscles, keeping the training fresh and exciting.
Next, focus on increasing the intensity of your workouts rather than the duration. The aim is to make your muscles work harder. You can increase your training weight. In case you’ve been training without weights, this is the time to spice up the training with dumbbells or kettlebells. If you’ve been walking, perhaps jogging is the way to go. When you increase the intensity, you stimulate your muscles in different ways.
Overcome fitness plateaus by keeping your body guessing the next workout. Increase the intensity, change the order of exercises and vary your routine. Different training activities will challenge your muscles, and ultimately you’ll get better results and push through training plateaus.
Track training progress
Once you’ve changed your workout routine, it’s important to keep track of your progress. Why? You want to be sure you are making headway in the plateau season. The different ways to track progress include using a journal to record weights or reps, a fitness app or taking progress photos. Tracking progress helps you to know when you can carry heavier weights or do more reps. You’ll keep adjusting your training depending on the information from the tracker.
When you track your progress, you can note the areas of weakness and adjust accordingly. Besides, tracking makes it easy to have an overview of the progress since there are many factors involved in gaining or losing muscle weight. The food you eat and even the amount of water you drink contributes to the overall results. Thus, considering all these factors will help make an informed choice toward breaking the training plateau.
Your diet can either bolster or slow your training regimen. Therefore, to get the most from your training, you must incorporate a healthy diet. Nutrition that supports your training constitutes healthy fats, lean protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and whole foods.
Carbohydrates are a source of energy. It’s your fuel during workouts. So, cutting down on carbohydrates will lead to low energy levels, leading to poor performance during workouts. Proteins are important for recovery. They also promote muscle growth and maintenance.
A food journal can help keep track of the food you eat. Here you can note the types and quantity of food you eat. It makes it easier to identify unhealthy eating habits that creep in unnoticed. Remember, you can be as dynamic as possible in your workout, but your efforts will go down the drain without a healthy diet.
Exercise is good. However, too much exercise can cause a fitness plateau. Chances are you will experience burnout. There is also the risk of insomnia, poor appetite and reduced capacity to train.
You can have rest after every five days. However, if your training is intense, then you’ll want to take breaks frequently. Alternatively, you can do light workouts during the rest days. In case you are completely drained, it would help take a few days off and let your body recharge. Persisting with training when your body is giving all the signs of burnout is counterintuitive. You risk further injury.
On the same note, ensure you have enough sleep so that your muscles can repair and recover from the intense workouts. Good sleep also gives you the energy to perform better in your training.
Take part in a competition
Another amazing step to breaking a training plateau is signing up for a competition or fitness challenge. The team spirit and the desire to win will push you to get out of your comfort zone and try new training routines. You can join a boot camp, register for a charity race or participate in a fitness competition. So, note when you are stagnant and give yourself a push by participating in an interesting fitness event. You’ll definitely overcome the plateau.
A training plateau is your body telling you it’s time for something different. So heed this call and take the necessary action. Remember that plateaus will happen from time to time. Therefore, it is important to monitor your training programs and act when you are not making progress. The longer you stay in this season, the harder it will be to get out. Besides, you’ll only be wasting time since you won’t see any results in your training.
This article was contributed by Tyler Read, owner of ptpioneer.com – a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study and pass their fitness exams. Check out his free videos for the latest trends.
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