Nothing can be more frustrating than running up against a plateau – especially if you’ve seen progress with your fitness goals – whether they are fat-loss, body-change or performance related goals at the gym.
Don’t panic, though! Though a plateau can feel like a roadblock, it’s actually just a small detour. Think of it as a challenge to your next breakthrough instead of it being a shortcoming or the end of your progress. Instead of feeling frustrated and giving up, try approaching your plateau like a scientist…what is your body trying to tell you? How can you respond so you can stay on track and meet your goals?
Plateaus can happen for many reasons. If you’ve been eating less, it could be because your metabolism is starting to get used to your new eating routine. If you feel like you’ve been getting PRs at the gym, but aren’t anymore, it could be because your body needs more rest.
Think about ways to change up your routine to make things more interesting. For instance, if you’re meal prepping the same thing every weekend, try incorporating different protein or veggies, so you don’t get tired of it. Consider getting fancy with spices or making healthy condiments like homemade chimichurri to give your dish some life. Search out new healthy recipes and challenge yourself to cook something new next week. One of IronPlate’s favorite local healthy food bloggers is JC’s own Inspiralized!
Changing it up applies to your workouts too. If every workout is the same, your body will naturally get used to those exercises. Find different ways to workout the same muscles. For example, if your go-to is doing push-ups, switch it up with chest fly moves or by doing chest presses from time to time. If you’re constantly doing crunches, try different plank variations. A good challenge for weight training is to try single leg activities to work on balance and strength. Consider adding more weight bearing exercises to your core routine such as rope crunches off a cable crossover or reverse crunches while holding a weighted barbell above your chest. Or to spruce up your cardio routine, adding in HIIT intervals helps to burn lots of calories and improve your heart’s strength. Plus, it gives you a chance to challenge your body more and make the workout interesting.
Plateaus can strike if you are working yourself too hard. Are you on #teamnodaysoff? The body does need rest days. Find ways to recover – sometimes you need to take a break, but you could also find other ways to do active recovery. Active recovery could be a nice walk through parks in Jersey City, foam rolling, or taking a yoga class. Resting is a great way to take a break so you can look forward to your next workout. Incorporate rest to help your body recover so you can hit it at the gym with renewed energy so you can smash your goals.
Sleep is crucial! It’s your reset button. Ask yourself, are there ways for you to sleep more? Even if it’s turning off the TV 30 minutes earlier, or trying out a bedtime tea – find ways to wind-down when it’s time for shut-eye.
ZOOM IN – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS
Another way to approach your plateau is to get into the nitty-gritty. Try keeping a food journal for a week or getting back to measuring your food. Chances are having a super focused week could show you that you weren’t as detailed as you thought you were. Zeroing in on these details can give you further accountability to push past your plateau.
Other details to consider:
- Are you drinking enough water? Adequate hydration is crucial for weight-loss and performance at the gym. Plus, being dehydrated and not having enough water can lead to water retention.
- Eating enough protein? Protein is the macronutrient responsible for blood sugar regulation, and without adequate protein on board, it is nearly impossible to get in fat-burning mode.
- Drinking a little more booze than you’d like to? Consider putting a limit on the weekly amount of drinks you’re having, or “saving” those drinks for certain nights of the week, like Friday and Saturday, rather than allowing for mid-week meet ups with friends over cocktails. Reign it in!
FIND THE GOOD THINGS
Reality check! You are on a journey, and you are making progress – even if it’s not completely linear – the experience is ever-changing. One of the most important things to consider when you’re up against a plateau is MINDSET. Instead of thinking “are we there yet?” with your goals, take stock of the progress you’ve made! Think of smaller goals along the way between “here” (your plateau) and “there” (your ultimate goal).
Try using some of these strategies to bust through your motivation, fitness, or fat-loss plateau and let us know if anything worked!
Need fitness and nutrition help? Contact http://www.ironplatestudios.com