Have you taken the same group exercise class for months without any difference in your fitness level or appearance?
Have you made little to no gains in your strength but you’ve been weight training for a while now?
Do workouts just not feel as good as they used to?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing a plateau.
A plateau is a point at which you are no longer achieving results from your fitness program even though your workout intensity and nutrition seem unchanged. This is common and is an inevitable part of working out. Plateaus can be caused by physiological factors, workout design factors, nutrition, or a combination of multiple reasons, which is often the case. We’re going to focus on the exercise part.
Exercise is essentially an applied stress. Your body experiences the stress, adapts to and recovers from the stress and changes for the better because of it. A plateau occurs when there are no more changes and adaptations in response to the stress because your body decided the same workout is well…just not stressful enough. This is normal and how the body works. This isn’t so great if you are trying to achieve a certain level of fitness or reach a certain weight. So the simple answer is: change the stress-change the response. A common example is those of us that take the same 1 or 2 group exercise classes for months, or even years, without any change. We experience great results when we start the first six weeks of cycling or Zumba®, then the results slow down, but we love the class so we stick with it.
The best results often come from injecting a little something different into your routine. If you love cycling class or Zumba® don’t necessarily change that but try replacing a couple days a month with Y Barre or add day of group Pilates reformer class, take a day of bootcamp here or there, get some personal training sessions and focus on variety. It doesn’t take much and can get your body changing again rapidly. Swapping out just one day a week for something new can make a difference.
If you are unsure how to best break through a plateau, speak with one of our awesome trainers. As always, don’t hesitate to ask questions. See you on the workout floor!