We’ve all been there. Whether we’re trying to lose weight, add muscle or even develop a new skill, we hit that point in our progress where everything seems to come to a screeching halt.
In a nutshell, a plateau is when our body becomes accustomed to the stress we place upon it through lifting weights or cardio training. Once our body adapts to its workout, if we don’t ask it to do more, there’s no reason for it to continue to change. You can also become accustomed to a certain caloric intake. Most plateaus occur because we follow the same old training and nutrition plans. If you’re stuck in a rut with your results and you want to take things up a notch, try this handy guide to plateau-busting and get ready to boost your results!
1. Know your numbers – determine how many calories you should eat on a workout day versus a non-workout day. Remember, you can’t out train a bad diet.
2. Track your meals for a week. Often, we think we’re being diligent, until we realize that after a few weeks of eating great we’ve started slacking. “Oh I’ve been good, so I’ll cheat just this one time…” and then it all goes to hell in a handbasket. This is probably the reason behind more than half of the plateaus out there.
3. Many people think that if they skip a meal it will help them lose weight, but that’s simply not true. For women especially, a big issue can be not eating ENOUGH.
4. Are you REALLY getting enough sleep? This is one that most people skip out on. They’re exercising and eating right, but they cut corners on the all-important ZZZ factor. We all know sleep is important. Lack of sleep leads to increased levels of stress – less time for our bodies to rebuild muscle, to recover from strenuous activity, and more.
5. Don’t obsess over your weight! Remember, numbers on the scale don’t tell the whole story. What’s your percentage of body fat versus lean muscle mass? How are your jeans fitting? Weigh yourself just once a week (and listen to your favorite pair of jeans).
6. One of the most overlooked aspects of a weight loss plan is proper hydration. See our Big Sky blog article “Drink Up Buttercup!”
7. Implement the proper intensity in your workouts. You don’t have to bury yourself with each rep. Low intensity workouts serve a purpose.
8. Spice it up! Change doesn’t happen…. if change doesn’t happen. Try a new Group Fitness Class with a pal – what’s the worst that could happen!?!
9. Think positive – don’t be a negative Nancy. Listen to your inner dialogue – the conversation you have with yourself. Would you talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself? A positive mindset can go a long way when you’re in a rut.
10. Have a plan and write out your goals. Consult with a personal trainer to help you put some scientifically-based thought into your game plan. Many people try different diets or workout routines on their own and see slow or no progress. They’re basically just spinning their wheels. Working with a trainer keeps you motived, accountable and keeps your program fresh.
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