Have you been working out for the last few months and seen your progress slow down? Chances are you might have hit a plateau! One of the most frustrating problems that afflict amateur exercisers looking to get in shape is the weight loss plateau which can happen at any time, stalling your advancement.
So what is a plateau and how can you avoid it? Our friends at Hillmotts are here to give you an expert’s overview:
What is a Training Plateau?
When applied to an exercise program, the term “plateau” refers to
a sudden and dramatic decrease in the noticeable results of your regular workouts. This can manifest itself in both strength and cardiovascular training, as well is in weight loss.
The human body is a master at adaptation, capable of quickly adjusting to meet the demands of any exertion. If your workout is not continually evolving to keep up with the increases in strength and endurance that your body is making, plateaus will occur and things won’t progress nearly as fast.
How to Avoid and Bust Plateaus
Consistently and strategically changing your workout will keep your body from adapting, therefore helping you to avoid hitting training plateaus. The exact methods that will be best for you will depend heavily on your individual goals and fitness level.
It’s all about mixing up your workouts. Periodization is a carefully planned training progression that’s used by professionals to help them get the most out of their training. They do this by breaking up the year into three training cycles, each with a different objective.
Each cycle should focus on various aspects of your fitness goals such as strength, endurance, speed and muscle tone. Simply changing the order and type of exercises you perform may also be effective, such as replacing squats with front squats or dumbbell presses with a barbell press.
Keep it varied
Plateaus in cardiovascular endurance training can also be busted by varying the type of your workout. If you normally go for a run, switch to biking or utilise a different track to emphasis hill-running or speed. Classes, such as spinning or body combat will also give you a change of pace while helping to improve your cardiovascular endurance.
Most treadmills available will include a variety of programs designed to help you work through plateaus. Making use of these preset programs, or even designing your own, will be a powerful tool for making progress.
Avoiding weight loss plateaus are all about variation – don’t let your body adapt to your training! Mix it up, keep challenging your body and avoid getting into a fitness-rut! Need some ideas for something different? Why not try Nordic Walking or Zumba!