We’ve all faced it a time or two: the dreaded fitness plateau. For those of you who are just getting into fitness and have yet to experience this, a plateau is like hitting a wall. You’re stuck, and you don’t feel like you’re improving but you’re not getting worse either.
It can sneak up on you when you least expect it, destroying whatever “workout plan” that you thought you had. Sometimes it happens just after you’ve trained diligently for an upcoming race, while other times it just arrives at random. Whatever the reason, here are some ways you can conquer the slump!
1. Freshen it up |
My plateau is always followed by a much needed change in my diet. Sometimes the problem isn’t what you’re doing in the gym, but what you’re not doing in the kitchen. We all get a little lax with what we eat sometimes, and I’m certainly just as guilty as anyone. But your body should not be a trash can.
Look up some new recipes, or try something new altogether such as juicing! I’m a huge fan, and my daily glass of fresh greens really gets me going on the lazy days. It keeps me from indulging in more sugary options that will just increase the chance of a plateau. Pinterest has some great ideas that will spark some inspiration!
2. Stop winging it! |
Pull yourself out of the slump by making a plan. Establish not only when you want to work out, but what you want to be doing. It’s the same process as setting goals: you can’t get there without solid, time sensitive checkpoints.
If you’ve been just “winging it”, chances are your body and your mind are bored. Can you blame them? None of us have 3 hours to spend at the gym, wandering around trying to figure out what to do next. Don’t go in without a plan!
3. Go out on a limb |
Sign up for a class you’ve always wanted to take. Seriously, do it. After a week of kickboxing that only cost me $25, I bought my own punching bag and had a blast. It might be exactly what you need to put some excitement back into your routine, and discover a new way to exercise.
If you’ve been doing the same workout for weeks, you will 100% hit a plateau at some point. Not to mention the fact that your body will eventually become used to those movements, and you won’t see the changes you’re looking for. Make the change now, and keep changing!
4. Take a break |
Not what you expected? The first time I plateaued, this was the advice that a good friend gave me, and I needed it. Sometimes a plateau is your body’s way of saying “enough”. It’s a warning, and if you don’t listen you can end up injured, worn out, physically exhausted, etc. So take a couple days off and unwind. Make some adjustments, and take a new approach on your fitness.
This is the current situation that I’m faced with due to my own stubbornness. I ran too much, too far, every day. My body told me to stop and I didn’t listen. So take it from me: If you’re more sore than usual and it’s persisting, stop! It’s really not worth the trouble.
How do you deal with a fitness plateau? What lessons have you learned from it?