Everybody hits a wall at some point in their training. You start seeing some wonderful changes in your body and then suddenly your progress grinds to a halt. Exercise plateaus and setbacks can be extremely frustrating, and can derail even the most ambitious workout plans.
Weight loss plateaus are to be expected as you are losing weight. Our bodies are resistant to change. Lots of people who reach their ideal weight have experienced as many as 2-3 plateaus lasting several weeks. Don’t let it discourage you; let it challenge you. Here are some tips to give your body that extra boost it needs to get over that wall.
Modify your reps
Doing the same amount of reps week after week is a quick way to attract a plateau, not to mention boredom. After just a few weeks, your body adapts to workout variables like sets, reps and rest time. To keep your workout fresh, experiment with different set and rep combinations.
Change your tempo
When suffering from a lack of progress, you can try slowing down or speeding up your workout. High intensity interval training where you push yourself in short bursts can help to increase your fat burning ability. Alternatively for muscle growth, try slowing things down; especially during the lowering portion of the exercise. The slow tempo will boost the amount of time the muscle is under tension, while increasing the overall difficulty of the exercise.
Performing the same exercises week after week can lead to lack of results and a big drop in motivation. Changing your routine can be crucial for encouraging progress. You don’t need to change the whole workout just mix it up a little by adding some fun activities like swimming, tennis or rock climbing or by adding weights if you haven’t already.
Sometimes if we are seeing less results it causes us to work harder in the gym when we might need to take it easier. Without proper recovery in between workouts, the body can’t rebuild muscle that has been broken down. This can result in lingering soreness and muscle fatigue.
Foam rolling and massage therapy are two great ideas to speed recovery and help relieve soreness. Massage increases circulation, enhances recovery and reduces scar tissue. So make friends with that massage chair (particularly before and after workouts)
We all know sleep is important but this is one that most people skip out on. They are exercising, eating right, but for whatever reason they’ve been slacking on their sleep. Lack of sleep leads to increased levels of stress and less time for our bodies to rebuild muscle and recover.