Plateaus are the result of your body’s amazing ability to continually adjust the capacity to meet the desired needs. So, what does that mean for your workouts?
You workout most days of the week, but you’ve stopped seeing progress. Sound familiar? You’ve hit a plateau.
A plateau is when your body no longer responds to your fitness routine.
The body adapts to the changes that it continually encounters, which is called the SAID principle: Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. Whether this is strength or weight loss, our body gets better and more efficient the more it is exposed to the same stimulus.
Your performance has plateaued which is frustrating, but the good news is you can break through.
These tweaks are the top 5 changes I’ve made with personal training clients have made to break through a fitness plateau:
1. Don’t skip the warm up. As tempting as it is, if you skip the warm up you’re cheating yourself out of maximum potential. If you warm up your body before a workout, you can train harder, burn more calories and prevent injury.
2. Change things up. Your body learns to adapt to the stressors placed on it during a workout. The body adapts to that stress, becomes more efficient at completing the routine and you stop seeing results. When you keep your body guessing, you increase the stress which then requires your body to adapt to meet the new demands. Safely and with periods of rest, keep challenging your body and see results.
3. Make it harder. Progress your workout to see results. By selecting progressive exercises for the target muscle groups, adaptations can continue. Consider increasing the weight your lifting the number of reps. Once you’ve mastered a basic squat or push-up, try it with one leg lifted or on a stability ball. The optimal state of the human body is physiologic homeostasis or balance. By not progressing your workouts it becomes easier for your body to meet the demands being placed on it. Continually challenge your body by [safely] increasing the demands placed on it.
4. Make time to recover. Change and progress happens in between your workouts when your body repairs (builds) muscle. Try active recovery or taking a day or two off. If you’ve been training hard five or more days a week for months, take a week off giving your body extra time to rest and recover.
5. Look at your nutrition. Reassess your caloric needs and adjust your intake. When the goal of workouts includes weight loss people tend to “diet” and restrict calories, but “if you go below 1,200 calories, you can slow down your metabolism, preventing weight loss”, warns registered dietitian Ilyse Schapiro. Restricting too many calories affects performance and endurance and leaves your body lacking energy.
The plateau affects more than progress.
When you begin a workout routine the impact of immediate results is motivation to continue. So, not only are you not seeing progress, you may also become less motivated to workout. Surround yourself with inspiration. Download the fitness motivation posters, print them and hang them wherever you will see them often.
Download the 4 total body workouts to help break through a fitness plateau.
Life is busy. I get it. All 5 of these workouts can be done in 30 minutes or less!
Feel like you’re in a rut? Try these tips on how to stay motivated and get out of a workout rut.
If you’re beginning your fitness journey, congratulations on taking the steps to becoming healthy and strong. And, this will help, How To Begin an Exercise Program and Reach Your Goal.
Have a beautiful day!
be the best version of YOU