While there are many potential obstacles that you may face on your fitness journey, none are more frustrating than fitness plateaus. When you hit one, it’s imperative that you implement a quick response to get your progress back on track.
A fitness plateau is when your body gets used to the current fitness routine, leading to stagnated progress. Even when fitness is fun, most people exercise to become better versions of themselves. In fact, a perceived lack of progress is one of the chief reasons why 90% of people quit the gym after just three months.
When you’re in a stage of leveling out, it may feel like you have no hope. Once you understand the reasons for hitting a plateau, though, overcoming the bump in the road will become far simpler.
Give Your Body a Chance to Rest
You would be forgiven for thinking that the best way to progress is to continually push yourself to the limit. On the contrary, though, your body needs a chance to rest and recuperate. Not least because sleep is needed to promote improved muscle growth due to protein synthesis and human growth hormone release.
Conversely, a lack of rest will soon translate to reduced physical performance in the gym or on the court. Simply turning up every day is futile if your body is only capable of performing at 50 or 60%. Incorporating 1-2 rest days per week into the schedule may be the key to improving performance levels during future workouts while also keeping your mind engaged.
You can still stay active with walks and other low-impact exercises on those days.
Fitness is a science. As such, knowledge is power and can make all the difference as you
look to make calculated decisions that yield the best results. Personal training courses will help you gain a deeper understanding of how the body works and how to build structured workouts rather than following random exercises. This can push you through the plateau.
The ability to modify your workout program to align with your goals and generate the best results will soon cast the stagnation phase to the past. Similarly, maintaining good form will bring great results. Furthermore, you will develop a far more accurate understanding of how hard you are pushing yourself. In turn, this can help you find the strength for one last rep.
Alternatively, you could lean on the experience and education of a personal trainer.
Address Your Lifestyle
Fitness success isn’t defined solely by what you do in the gym. Even if you spend an hour in the gym each day, this only counts for 5% of your time. The importance of rest has already been discussed, but you also need to consider the impact of nutrition. The fact that two-thirds of UK adults are overweight should highlight its importance.
It’s the oldest cliche in the book, but you cannot outrun a bad diet. Making the wrong food choices will undo a lot of your good work. In addition to the caloric influence, you must consider how feeling bloated or void of energy would impact your workouts. Thankfully, consciously altering your diet can quickly help you overcome your current plateau.
Quitting bad habits like smoking will also allow you to perform better to see better results.
Focus on Progressive Overloads
If you take a PT course, progressive overload is a topic you will learn about. Even if you don’t invest in a fitness-based education, switching to a progressive overload model will help sustain your progress. It has been statistically shown to bring better results over several months. it removes the threat of plateauing as your workouts are no longer the same.
You’ll probably want to conduct additional research into progressive overloads. However, the most common ways to achieve it are through; increased weight, increased volume, increased training frequency, increased reps, increased intensity and range of motion, or reduced rest time. Train harder and you will see better results.
If nothing else, tracking your training progress will aid your motivation.
Try New Types of Exercise
It is shown that fitness loss in athletes doesn’t occur until after around three weeks after they stop training. Conversely, though, the body can get used to a routine in a matter of weeks. When this is the cause of your fitness plateau, incorporating new types of exercise is the best solution. It can reignite the fuse for progress with almost immediate results.
If you work out alone, try playing team sports. Conversely, if you usually focus on group sessions, adding solo exercise helps you focus on goals. Engaging new muscle groups will also help promote greater muscle balance, which will subsequently support all workouts. It also reduces the risk of causing injuries by overloading one muscle group.
Besides, there is a strong chance you’ll discover a new favorite exercise. Perfect.