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Plateaus happen when the body begins to adjust to the demands your exercise routine requires of it. Once your body adapts to a fitness routine, you’re not likely to see many benefits until you make adjustments that force your body to move and work in new and exciting ways. Here’s some reasons you may be stuck in a plateau and how to break the pattern:
You’re unsure of what changes to make to your fitness routine
Follow a program that is progressive
Where should you make adjustments? Try changing your sets, reps, weight, the type of exercise you’re doing, your intensity, or the length of your workout
Training Too Hard
Are you trying to push yourself from beginning to end during every workout? Your body has probably adapted to this same intensity even if it still challenging
If you’re feeling unmotivated or exhausted, it may be time to take a few days off
You need to pump up your workout
On the flip side, an activity that isn’t challenging you probably isn’t going to give desired results. Sweat sessions like HIIT or a circuit training class can be a valuable departure from your typical workout
It’s time to work with a trainer
If you’ve tried everything to bust through your exercise plateau without success,a personal training is another valuable tool. Even if you can’t afford a trainer on a consistent basis, periodically scheduling a session with an expert can give you fresh ideas, improve your form, help you strategize to achieve your fitness goals, and hold you accountable to your workout schedule
You’re not keeping tabs of your nutrition
The kinds of foods you eat could be halting your momentum. Try using a food diary to record how you feel after eating certain meals. A few sessions with a nutritionist can also help you find the right blend of protein, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and carbs to create energy-packed meals and snacks to support your fitness goals
You don’t get enough sleep
Sleep and fitness go hand-in-hand, so losing sleep can sabotage your diet. To keep the hormones that signal hunger in check. Poor sleep also means you’re less likely to have energy to make it to the gym or the necessary rest needed for your muscles to adequately recover. Bottom line: Your sleep schedule should be as important for seeing workout results as your actual fitness plan
Your goals aren’t realistic
Keep things in perspective. Find activities that fit your lifestyle and that you enjoy doing. If you hate running, that’s probably not going to be the exercise that promotes positive change in your life
Before you push yourself too hard at a workout you’ve never tried before, start with a beginner class and learn the basics. Don’t hesitate to ask for help or modifications if something doesn’t feel right to you.
Remember: your goal is to overcome a plateau and enhance your fitness, not injure yourself or reach a state of burnout!