Working Through Fitness Plateaus

When you first start to exercise, the loss of inches around the waist and pounds on the scale fuels your sense of pride, motivating you to work out longer and work out harder. When you get used to seeing results, however, it can be disheartening when you no longer notice your progress.

A common phenomenon, the workout plateau occurs when fitness results wither and the body no longer responds to your fitness program. This may occur for many reasons. Fortunately, if you are aware of the reasons behind workout plateaus, you can counteract them with several strategies.

Increase Intensity

If you’re exercise at the same intensity for over six weeks, chances are that you’re body has adapted to your routine. This may mean you need to crank up the intensity. For strength training, this can be done by moving up to heavier weights. The weights should be heavy enough to lift between eight and 12 times before your muscles fatigue. For cardiovascular exercise, you can move past your workout plateau by pushing yourself to work harder.  Alternatively, you can increase the amount of time you exercise.

Add Variety

Just like your body gets used to the same intensity of your workouts, your body adapts to the exercises you perform as well. You can trick your body into to overcoming your plateau by adding different exercises to your workout mix. This spurs your body to work harder because it’s no longer accustom to the your fitness program.. Another way to add variety is to switch up the order you perform your exercises.

Diet

Lack of workout results can also be attributed to the food you put in your mouth, As you lose body weight, your calorie needs may lower as well. Keep stock of the food you consume by keeping a food diary for one week. This can increase awareness of the calories you consume. You can find out whether you are eating too much or too little. A workout plateau can be caused by not consuming enough calories to support a healthy metabolism.

Overtraining

The body rebuilds and strengthens during rest. If you do too much exercise and don’t receive enough rest, this can lead to overtraining syndrome. In addition to the lack of fitness progress, people who overtrain may have extreme muscle soreness, appetite loss, shortness of breath, and an impaired immune system. Psychological symptoms such depression and impaired self-esteem also result from overtraining syndrome.

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