Bust Through That Plateau!
Having trouble seeing new gains at the gym? You may have hit a plateau. But hope is not lost yet, because you can bust through that plateau with a little help.
Have you been slugging it out in the gym for months on end? Perhaps at first you were feeling great, seeing some results and motivated to keep going with your new fitness. But now? No matter how many chin ups or bicep you do, it seems like you’re getting nowhere. You’re not losing any fat, and you’re certainly not gaining any more muscle.
So is this it? Are you starting to assume that this is all your body is capable of? Or are you unwilling to accept your current state? If the latter sounds like you, you’re obviously on the plateau but looking to climb that next peak. Don’t give up – better results are still possible with these five tips:
1. Discover Your Weaknesses
If you’re lifting, start paying closer attention to your routine and identify your sticking point. We all have them – the particular part of your move where you’re at your weakest. Once you know what yours is, strengthen it. You’ll be able to lift heavier weights and as a result of the new challenge your muscles will grow faster.
Try this – lift your first sets at approximately 70% of your normal weight, then your last set at 10% more weight than you’d normally go for. It will tax your muscles differently and start to force that change.
2. Take Baby Steps
Many of us are guilty of trying to do too much at once in these situations. We stop seeing results, so we overload – stricter diets, longer workouts, more supplements. But a grueling overhaul isn’t necessarily the answer. Instead of changing everything at once, take it one little boost at a time. Cut down on carbs or sugary fruits, for example and see what that does. After a couple of weeks, try increasing your cardio. If you’re still not getting anywhere, place more attention on your weights. Just don’t do it all at once.
3. Give Yourself A Break
Consider that your plateau could be because of something other than a lack of effort or need to work harder. If you’ve been ill recently, are putting in overtime at work or dealing with stress in your personal life, these could all be affecting your results. Stress and sickness affect the body and mind in more ways than many of us realize.
If this sounds like you, give yourself a little rest. take a few days off to deal with issues, catch up on sleep and recover, keeping in mind that it isn’t time to totally slack off or start eating junk. Then, when you’re feeling refreshed, get back into your regular gym routine and you’ll likely start noticing results again.
4. Try Something Different
Have you been doing the same old workout day in and day out? You need to switch it up now and then! Take a day off from the gym now and then to go swimming, attend a boot camp, go running or try some martial arts. Break it up a little and you’ll work your body in different ways than you do during the old cardio and weights schtick. If you’re really brave, you might even consider yoga or dancing.
5. Consult A Professional
Still not getting anywhere? It’s time to seek help. Hire a personal trainer or a coach to gain further perspective, analyze your body and review your workout and diet. On rare occasions, despite our best efforts, we are just stuck on those damn plateaus and can’t seem to overcome them. There is no shame in this – it happens to the best of us. Just be honest with yourself and admit when DIY tips and tricks are no longer cutting it and it’s time to refer to an outside resource.
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