Workout plateaus can be extremely irritating and frustrating. You have gone a certain way towards achieving your workout goals but, try as you might, you just don’t seem to be able to get any further. Don’t despair, you should see a workout plateau as a point on your journey rather than a reason to give up. Follow these simple steps to help you break through it.
Improve Your Technique
Look at ways to improve your technique and you could be surprised by the results. For example, the importance of nasal breathing on performance is huge but many people don’t consider this at all. If you attend a gym or workout class, ask your instructor for ideas about how to improve your technique and you may be over your workout plateau sooner than you think.
Plateaus occur because your body gets used to the workload, so varying your workout will get you better results. This is because your body will be using different muscles than it is used to, and this will help you to get over the plateau. There are some great cross training workouts you can try and the best options for you will depend on the type of workout your body is already used to. Mixing it up will also decrease your risk of injury and getting bored.
Add Resistance Training
If you are not already resistance training, now is a great time to start. This will increase your strength and endurance, strengthen your skeletal muscles and bones, and protect you from getting injured as well as helping you to overcome your plateau. You do not need to bulk up like a champion weightlifter if you don’t want to. Use light weights or resistance bands to help you improve your core strength and improve your overall performance.
When you work out a lot, your muscles start to get fatigued. You need to take a rest for your body to repair itself. Failure to do this can lead to injury and increase your chances of hitting a plateau. Aim to give yourself a couple of days off from your workout schedule every week. This does not mean that you have to lounge on the couch; you can still be active but just give your body some time off from your usual routine.
Getting enough sleep can have a huge impact on your ability to have a successful workout. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night regardless of whether you have worked out that day or not. The results can be quite dramatic as you will be refreshed and ready to make the most of your workout the next day.
Putting yourself under too much stress can increase the production of stress hormones in your body. This is a major contributor to a plateau, and it will stop you seeing any results when you do work out. Learn how to manage stress by increasing your relaxation time with meditation or yoga. Above all, try to stop stressing about hitting a plateau and work through it rather than panicking about it.
Take a Break
If all else fails, it might be time to take a break. This does not mean that your exercise regime must come to a grinding halt. However, taking a week off will kick start your body when you get back into it and this will help you to overcome your plateau.
Accept that you will hit plateaus in your workout program, as these are a natural fact of life. However, follow these tips and you will learn to deal with them and see them as a bump in the road rather than a reason to quit.