Fitmark Ambassador Elspeth Polt explains how to get past the dreaded plateau when it comes to working out
As we all know working out and staying active has many health benefits, but like anything in life you need to have balance in order to keep the experience positive. Let me further explain: what do you do when you’ve been working out and stopped seeing results? Or are feeling bored with doing the same old, same old workout? Or become overly fatigued or injured because of overtraining? These issues can arise in people of all fitness levels, so it’s good to have the information and be aware then to dive blindly in.
These problems (and fixes) all go together. At the gym we tend to want to hit it hard and, often thinking the ‘more is better’ motto is best. But in reality your body needs REST just as much as it needs an intense workout. Your muscles need to recover in order for you to keep the intensity in your workouts, increase muscle growth, and speed up fat loss.
The Problem: You’ve been working out and stopped seeing results/ have plateaued.
The Problem: Boredom.
The Problem: Injury or fatigue as a result from overtraining.
These are a few things you can do to avoid over training and hitting a plateau.
1. Stick with short intense workouts (30-45 min).
2. Get plenty of rest between heavy sets.
3. Take time off (about 1 week) after every 2 months of intense training.
4. Focus in the gym! More is not better, better more focused training is better! Think quality over quantity.
5. Listen to your body! If you need rest, take some time to rest. Your muscles need to recover. You must allow them to do so by having them take a break. Do not allow the psychological barrier of taking a week off stand in your way. You may be thinking you will lose ground by taking time off (I totally understand because I am so guilty of this!) but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. During this break continue to eat healthy, ensuring that you’re getting plenty of protein to help repair muscles, and lots of rest. Believe me you will come back with more energy and feeling stronger!
It may sound a little confusing but the more you know the more prepared you will be. So keep your training focused and intense, mix up your workouts, get plenty of rest and recovery time, and listen to your body. Train hard, and train smart!
Fitmark Ambassador 2013