So how’s it going with your training?
Are you dropping 5-10 lbs every month?
Or have you increased your deadlift 10 lbs every month for a while now?
Is your joint function and mobility getting better every month?
Because the truth is that when we first start a new fitness training program we should realize results. We should drop some weight. We should increase our strength. Our posture should improve and our body should feel better.
But this doesn’t continue indefinitely does it?
At a certain point we plateau. Our gains come to a grinding halt. And we might get stuck in a rut.
And there are a couple of common ‘knee-jerk’ reactions when this happens.
1. We up our efforts and do more of the same.
2. We get frustrated and give up.
And where does this get us?
Nowhere except further into the future. More frustrated. And more desperate.
So what should you do? Exactly what you aren’t.
Below are 5 Tips to Bust Through Your Fitness Training Plateaus.
Tip #1 – Don’t Train
What? How does that make sense? Don’t you need to create a caloric deficit in order to lose weight? Isn’t exercise a key part of the healthy living blue print?
Yes, it is.
But when was the last time you took a week off from training? Sometimes we can get focussed on the goal that we miss the signs that are telling us we need to step back briefly in order to launch forward again in the future.
If it’s been more than 3 months since you’ve taken a week off training give that a try. If you are always pushing and never giving your body to recover and regenerate making positive gains may be limited.
Tip #2 – Do a 180 with your training
If you take a break from training then look at what is lacking in your program?
Are you taking time to warm up and cool down adequately? Are you giving enough attention to tissue quality with foam rolling, stretching, massage and recovery? Do your workouts have a resistance-based emphasis or are they energy system dominant? If you tend to lift what lifts do you prioritize? Or if you do cardio workouts what types and duration are they?
Examine your workouts from all angles to see where there are gaps. Sometimes addressing these will spur on new gains and results.
Tip #3 – Look at your plate
In the same way that you examine your workouts you need to do the same with your meals?
Which nutrients are you missing? Which healthy food do you not like, and therefore tend not to eat? How often do you have cheat meals? How consistent are you with having a post-workout shake after every workout? Are your meals overly acidic? Or are they pro-inflammatory?
Some of these things you will need a professional in order to tell you the anwers.
And if you are doing everything right, maybe that’s your problem. You need to hit up In’N’Out Burger and have a double double!
Tip #4 – Pump up the parasympathetic
Taxes. Death. Bosses. Mortgages….there are enough things in life to stress us out.
And these stessors wreak havoc on our ability to put on lean body mass, burn body fat and move our bodies without pain.
So how do we do this?
We need to do what we find enjoyable. Maybe it’s going to the movies. Or hanging out with friends. Reading a book. Playing golf or having a bath.
It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that:
A. it isn’t training
B. you reallyenjoy it
Because by choosing an activity like this you will pump up your parasympathetic nervous system. You will allow your body to rest and digest. And you will minimize breakdown of tissue and shift the emphasis to building lean muscle mass.
Tip #5 – Get more zzzs
Somtimes when we are feeling burnt out or run down it’s simply because we aren’t giving our bodies enough of a chance to recover.
Why do I believe this? Because more and more often I’m seeing amazing feats of physicality coming from those in the latter years of their lives that have been told to slow down.
But they continue pressing on, living incredibly healthy lives.
So this tells me the demands can be satisfied if there is adequate rest and recovery to support our efforts.
Ensure you get 8 hours of sleep every night. Not just 8 hours when you were in bed but 8 hours when you were actually asleep. Big difference.
Well there you go. If your fitness training is at a standstill look to incorporate these 5 tips. And when you do make sure to monitor the changes you make to know which ones had the biggest impact.
All the best,