If you’ve been exercising for any length of time then you’ve no doubt experienced the dreaded “P” word, Plateau. A plateau is basically a halt in progress and has tested the resolve of even the fittest among us. Fortunately there are several easy and productive “cures” for this fitness bump in the road.
Take a Break!
Now, I know it may sound counterproductive but if you’ve been hitting it hard for a while and noticed that you haven’t been progressing like you have in the past, then you may be overtraining. Overtraining is simply what can happen when ones volume and intensity of exercise exceed their ability to recover. So, for a few days replace your regular fitness routine with a stroll around the neighborhood or some light stretching to let the body recharge.
Mix It Up!
One of the simplest plateau busters involves changing up your workout. You’ve no doubt heard the expression “practice makes perfect.” Well, this definitely applies to exercise. You see, every time you perform an activity your body gets better at it, or more specifically, becomes more efficient at it. So, let’s say that you’re a runner and you’ve been running the same course at roughly the same speed for some time now. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard as it did when the activity was new to complete the same task. Your body has become a better runner! What you might try then, in order to blast through to new fitness results would be to replace running with cycling or an elliptical trainer. This will force the body to work hard again while it becomes more efficient with the new activity.
What are intervals? You ask. Simply stated, interval training involves varying your intensity levels during the course of a workout. By incorporating interval training into your workout you can provide the added spark necessary to continue progressing. An example of interval training would be for a walker who normally walks at a brisk pace for thirty minutes to instead walk at her normal pace for three minutes and then jog for one minute. This routine would then be repeated for the duration of the exercise session.
Try one or all of these proven Plateau Busters and experience the fitness results you deserve/desire!
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.