Change can be daunting, but your body needs it consistently if you want to see fitness results. You can’t exercise the same way for months and expect to see the same results that you did initially because your body grows and adapts every 8-12 weeks. After that time frame, you will likely hit a plateau in your fitness. From then on, you will only experience diminishing returns. If you have been doing the exact same thing since you can’t remember when and are frustrated by your lack of results, here are five tips to help you blast through your fitness plateau.
- Get Professional Help
If you have no idea what to change, and you don’t want to do the research to figure it out, seek out the help of a personal trainer. They are well-equipped to identify the source of the plateau and create a personalized plan to get you back on track.
- Change Up Your Food
If you are guilty of eating the exact same thing day after day, this may be a big reason for a plateau in your weight loss. You need to keep your body guessing. Get creative and do shocking things like eating breakfast for dinner. Alternatively, you may be in a cycle of denying yourself your favorite foods for a while and bingeing on them later, causing you to hang on to the pounds you desperately want to shed. Stop the cycle by allowing yourself to indulge in the items you love, just practice portion control.
- Shake Up Your Training
Your fitness routine is most likely shaped by comfort and convenience. It’s easy to run the same track every day, lift weights the same way or attend the same classes. If you want results, you need to break out of your comfort zone. If you are a cyclist or runner favoring flat roads, incorporate a day of hills and a day of sprints into your weekly routine. If you train with weights, vary the number of repetitions you do each visit with different periods of rest. If you prefer classes, commit to trying new classes and mixing it up so that no weekly schedule too closely resembles another.
- Check if You’re Bored
Maybe the problem isn’t in your body or your food at all—perhaps it is in your mind. If you are bored with your fitness activities, you are guaranteed to plateau. One excellent way to move from boredom to results is to assign yourself a fitness goal and create a schedule to meet it.
- Assess Your Stress Levels
Chances are good that the majority of the stress in your life does not come from the gym, but that doesn’t mean stress won’t affect your fitness. If your body is stressed out, it does not recover well from exercise, diminishing the gains you get to experience. With this in mind, your workouts should be structured to complement the stress in your life. If you are undergoing significant changes in life, do low-stress exercises. If you have periods of low stress, ramp up the intensity at the gym.
Don’t allow a plateau to discourage you and halt your fitness progress. Seek out its roots: food intake, training program, boredom, or stress and then create a plan to challenge your body in that area. If you need help, hire a personal trainer, and you will be back on track in no time!