Overcome Your Fitness Plateau
In honor of “Transformation Tuesday”, I elected to examine the fitness progress I’ve made just within the past year. I was anticipating the visual comparison since I haven’t lost any weight and my problem areas still bother me. However, I knew I had been doing some things differently to prevail over my plateau so my curiosity was peaked. The fact of the matter is that I’ve always been very fit. Fitness has always been a top priority and if you asked anyone this time last year, I’m sure they would’ve considered me a “fit” girl. I worked out almost every day and was in good shape. (Especially considering I sit at a desk for a living) Boy, am I glad I didn’t settle for mediocrity. Just in the past year, my thighs and buns have tightened up significantly, my abs are more defined, I have increased strength and endurance, and overall everything is more lifted and firm. The most exciting part is knowing I will be in even better shape next year! Here is my advice if you are struggling with a fitness plateau:
- Do something different!
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want to see results you’ve never seen, you have to do something you’ve never done. Change up your workout. Look up some new moves, or try a different class. Whatever you do, don’t be stagnant.
- Keep pushing!
The most common reason women tend to plateau is because we’re afraid to increase our weight because we don’t want to look “bulky”. The undeniable truth is you need to contract and stress the muscle in order to build it, even lean muscle. If you are finding your routine too easy, you have to increase your weight! If you are getting too big for your desired look, try adding a half-rep after each full rep to challenge yourself.
- Find your fitness buddies!
Not many of my long-term friends are very into fitness. I’ve made a lot of friends from the gym who help keep me motivated. In addition, there is tons of fitness information available on social media. Follow a fitness page on Facebook or Instagram and receive a daily dose of inspiration while you’re checking up on your friends and family. There are countless people on social media who are on the same mission as you, which allows you to meet new people, make new friends and learn from each other.
- Add an extra set!
I can remember the exact day my light bulb went off. I was working so hard every day and doing everything I needed to do, but for whatever reason, I was not getting results. Finally I went to a personal trainer friend of mine and whined and complained about how I was out of ideas. She asked me what I was doing during my weight training days and I made it a point to tell her all of the things I knew I was doing correctly. She asked me about my weights and reps and I told her my usual routine when she said, “Have you thought about adding an extra set?” DUH!! Blonde moment. Why didn’t I think of that? I was so busy worrying about packing everything I needed to get done into the shortest amount of time that I had honestly never considered that. The first day after I added my extra set, I was so sore I thought I was going to have to learn how to pee standing up! It’s so simple, yet so effective! And it really doesn’t add that much time to your workout in reality.
- Be patient!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It’s easy to get frustrated when our bodies hit that point where it gets harder and harder to see results. You have to give these things time, and the results might not be evident when you look in the mirror every day. I certainly didn’t see the progress I was making until I looked back at where I was a year from now and how far I’ve come. You just have to keep going, keep pushing, keep challenging yourself, and don’t settle for anything less than your best!
Stay tuned for more fit tips from yours truly!