Hitting A Wall
You’ve been exercising, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and eating the right foods. But you’ve also stopped gaining muscle or losing weight. It can be discouraging when your progress stops dead in its tracks. Hitting a plateau can even make you feel like giving up completely.
It’s especially frustrating when you were seeing steady results before and now it seems like you’re stuck. You maybe giving the same amount of effort, but not seeing the change you want to see. Well, don’t feel bad because everyone goes through this. If plateaus didn’t happen, we would all be eventually lifting over 1 ton. You can only get so strong and your muscles can only grow so big. But here are 3 tips to help you overcome a plateau.
Keep Yourself Motivated
Remind yourself that this stage of your training is not going to last forever. Your body gets accustomed to the same daily routine and does its best to stay the same. so during this time of frustration, stay positive and motivated.
People are happiest when they are making progress, so set small goals for yourself every day. This will make you feel like you are still working toward your goal. You can make anything your goal like burning “x” amount of calories, or complete “x” minutes of exercise every week.
You might have rewarded yourself in the beginning of your journey when you met fitness goals. A manicure or a new pair of Nike’s might have been a part of your motivation strategy. And to be honest they still can be. Set up a reward system that suits you. For example, complete 25 workouts in one month, and reward yourself with a new outfit.
You have to first decide if you are motivated intrinsically or extrinsically. Most people don’t exercise just because they like to. There is most likely an outside motivator. But they don’t have to be material things. Find some solid reasons why you stay healthy.
“This too shall pass..”
Change Up Your Workouts
If you do the same routine, your muscles will know what to expect every workout. You’ll also eventually be burning fewer calories because your body works smart, not hard. Shocking your body is actually one of the best things you can do if you are stuck in a plateau. Change up your workouts and nutrition. For example, long distance runners can mix things up by doing some sprints 1-2 days a week.
Maybe you have been running for the past few months and now you can’t seem to beat your best time. Pick up some weights and start lifting or take up a yoga class. Practicing a new skill can actually help you improve your strength, speed, and agility.
“Off with the old and on with the new. “
Recovery Is Key
Resting is actually an important part of losing weight and building muscle. The recovery period is when the muscle heals and has no choice but to grow bigger and stronger. Consequently, you really are shredding and tearing your muscles when you are in the gym. But if you don’t give your muscles enough time to rest, then you will be making your muscles weaker.
Maybe you have been hitting it too hard in the gym and haven’t had a rest day in a while. As counterintuitive as it may sound, plan a whole week to rest. That’s right put the weights down and return your running shoes back in the closet for one week. Even if you do take rest days every week, I’m sure you don’t get a full 7-8 hours of sleep every night. And I’m sure you get stressed out sometimes like the rest of us.
It’s important to remember that balance is the key to life. Give your mind and body a break and take a rest week. You’ll be thanking be after you return to your training refreshed and ready to take on anything.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen
What do you do to get through a plateau?
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Peace & Love,