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Fitness plateau—What is it, and how can you avoid it?

Have you ever felt as though your training or weight loss has come to a halt? That you’re not progressing any further? You could be experiencing a fitness plateau. Today we shed some light on this common issue, and tips on how you can pull yourself out of a plateau if it happens to you.

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Fitness plateau—What exactly is it?

If you’ve recently begun a new weight loss or fitness regime, you’ll be experiencing terrific, relatively quick results. You’ll be shedding centimetres from your waist line, fitting into old clothes and becoming fitter as the weeks go by. However, after a certain amount of time you may experience your results slowing down, or even stopping altogether.

This is known as a fitness plateau, and according to science, is bound to happen to almost everyone on their fitness journey at some point. Your body isn’t capable of improving leaps and bounds every single week, otherwise we would have people bench pressing a tonne or running at the speed of light! Your results will eventually slow down, which can unfortunately result in feelings of failure and a lack in motivation.

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Fitness plateau—How you can overcome it

If you suspect you’ve hit a fitness plateau, don’t beat yourself up. You’ve clearly done a fantastic job bringing yourself to this point. However, it’s important to feel motivated and as though you’re progressing in order to experience a sense of achievement, which ultimately keeps us moving forward with our fitness.

There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself through a fitness plateau:

1. Pump it: rather than opting for exercise at a continuous pace, such as 40 minutes of jogging or half an hour of cycling, turn up the heat by incorporating high intensity interval training into your workouts (read all about HIIT training here). This type of training boosts your metabolism, burning through fat faster and speeding up your fitness results.

2. Mix it up: try various forms of training which use different muscle groups. Our bodies are very intelligent, and if you continue with one type of fitness regime for an extended period of time, your body will become conditioned and it will no longer be as challenging.

3. Try fasted fitness: one way to kickstart weight loss is by engaging in cardio after waking up in the morning on an empty stomach. When you don’t have a belly full of food to burn through, your body uses your fat stores to fuel itself, resulting in weight loss.

4. Track your diet: even if you think you’ve been eating relatively healthily, why not keep a diet diary for a couple of weeks so you can revise exactly what is going into your mouth (and what might be affecting your fitness). You may be surprised at the extra calories you weren’t keeping track of!

5. Set some goals: experiencing a plateau can be difficult mentally, so ensure you’re setting daily fitness goals to keep your motivation on track. Even something as little as completing one extra lunge or running an extra two minutes can be enough to spur you on.

Have you experienced a fitness plateau before? What did you do to keep on track?

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