10 Ways to Beat a Fitness Plateau
Have you stopped seeing fat loss or muscle gain, even though you feel like you’re committed, training hard, sticking to nutritious foods, and keeping stress in-check? If you found yourself nodding in agreement, you have hit a plateau, my friend.
Don’t worry! Hitting a plateau is part of the process and totally common. When your body adjusts to the exercises or techniques you’ve been using or the diet you’ve grown accustomed to, it’s not unusual to hit a plateau. It’s time to shake things up.
How to Beat the Plateau:
- Change up your fitness routine. If you typically lift heavy and do low reps, try lifting lighter and doing high reps. You can try something like changing your grip, stance, the specific exercises you use or the intervals at which you are working out.
- Pick a small change to your usual routines and stick to it; if you decide to change the reps or the weights, the routine, or the tempo, that’s all fine and good, but don’t change everything—just pick one thing and see if it works for you.
- You could really change things up and take a week of rest—which will definitely surprise your body (just make sure you head back to the studio after a week). The advantages to taking some time off include recovery and muscle repair, giving your central nervous system time to relax, and giving your whole body a well-deserved rest.
- Go back to your trainer or get a training partner. Sometimes you need someone to push you, coach you, or just spot you so you can lift heavier than usual. You can more safely test your limits when you know a buddy has your back.
- Keep hydrated. We all know that we have to drink plenty of water to ensure the body is functioning optimally.
- Evaluate your habits. While it may feel like you’re doing everything you can to live a fit, healthy lifestyle, maybe there are some areas that are derailing your progress. For example, are you getting your beauty sleep? How about finishing off the kids’ meals or snacks? Maybe you’re drinking more sugary drinks or alcoholic beverages than usual? Whatever it may be, it could be something you didn’t even realize was holding your progress back.
- Get motivated by reassessing and restating your health and fitness goals. A plateau can take the wind out of your sails—don’t let it! Take it as an opportunity to take a look at what’s important, congratulate yourself for how far you’ve come, and then find a way to get back to achieving your new, revised, or ongoing goals.
- Make sure you are getting your protein. Protein boosts your metabolic rate better than other macro-nutrients. Protein is also key to maintaining muscle mass—and gains!
- Add more activity to your day. Add a brisk, 20-minute walk to your morning routine; take the stairs instead of the elevator at work; find a yoga class that you’ve been meaning to try.
- Stop obsessing over the scale. Did you think you had plateau’d, but it turned out that the scale was the way you had measured your progress. Try new metrics for evaluating your fitness progress. How are your clothes fitting? How much energy do you have? Do you have muscle definition in new places? Are you able to do more chin-ups/rows/back extensions? Don’t let the scale make you feel like you’re not achieving—health and fitness is not the same as weight-loss
What is your best plateau-busting hack? Follow us on Twitter @PursuitTrainng and use #PursuitTraining so we can find and share your comments.
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