Posted on October 02 2019
Are your fitness goals at a standstill? Do you feel as if you’re in a car, flooring the gas pedal, but going nowhere, because you’re in park and you didn’t realize it?
If the answer is yes, then buckle up. We are here to help you put your goals into drive and have a smooth ride over your fitness goal plateau! Here is how you can kick your rear into high gear.
1. Variety – The Spice of Life
A good deal of research in the fitness world suggests that keeping a diverse routine can help you overcome fitness plateaus and meet your goals. Aaptiv trainer, Kenta Seki, advises diversifying your routine to maximize progress: “Changing up the number of sets and reps or increasing the volume slightly can bring on more changes”. Seki also advises integrating timed intervals. He said this technique is ideal to “keep your body in a calorie burning, metabolic state.”
Owner of Performance University, Nick Tumminello, recommends switching up your exercise regimens: "Your body is an adaptive machine. It's going to get better at handling whatever stress you put on it the more you do it. So when you stress it in different ways, you have more chances to positively adapt.”
In fact, a recent study out of Brazil compared the following groups of exercisers:
- Constant intensity and constant exercise: those who repeated one workout routine over and over at the same intensity (reps/weight).
- Constant intensity and varied exercise: individuals engaging in did different exercises for the same number of reps.
- Varied intensity and constant exercise: people who did the same exercises, but changed their rep range.
- Varied intensity and varied exercise: those conducting different exercises and different reps.
The results from the research reflected that changes in exercises were more effective in improving muscle strength. Those in the groups who varied their exercise saw greater muscle strength gains: “In addition, exercise variation seems to produce a more complete muscle activation…”.
2. Place Fitness as Precedence
The golden rule for reaching your fitness goals has to be commitment. The same can be said about overcoming any plateaus you encounter. Certified trainer, Andrea Dusel-Foil, emphasizes committing to workouts like business meetings: “The number one reason for a fitness plateau that I see is a lack of time to get the workouts in.”
When you dedicate energy and time, good things are bound to happen. And since time is the number one challenge, it is important to prioritize finding quick and easy ways to get more activity in.
3. Quality Recovery
It is key to observe your quality and duration of sleep. If you’re getting less than 7 hours of quality sleep nightly, your body is unable to recover from your workouts.
According to certified fitness trainer Joey Vaillancourt, “Your body doesn't assimilate new muscle while you are working out. It's actually the exact opposite. It catabolises muscle tissue (breaks down muscle), then when you rest and re-fuel properly, your body will build new tissue in its place… You need to give your body sufficient rest time between workouts so that your muscles have a fighting chance at fully repairing.”
4. Don’t Forget to Reset!
Both physically and mentally, operating on a calorie deficiency for a prolonged period of time is draining. After a few weeks, your willpower might be worn down. That is why it is essential to give your mind a break as well as your body.
Physiologically, a cheat meal increases leptin levels for a period of time. This tricks your body into thinking you’re back up to a high-calorie budget, which rekindles your fat burning metabolism again. Clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe affirms that with an increased metabolic rate, thermogenesis increases as a result.
The most important point after your designated regrouping is immediately jumping back onto the program to break through the plateau!
And remember, be patient with your body. Physiologically, progress isn’t linear. Have a solid mindset, and know that whatever your goal may be, “You got this!”