Have you ever found a workout that you're just so into, and you think "this is it"? After a while, the workout becomes too easy and you're not seeing results anymore.
Don't worry, this is completely normal. It's called a workout plateau and it happens to the best of us. But what causes these plateaus and how do we break through them? In this article, we'll take a look at what's behind workout plateaus and some tips to get you past them and back on track to crushing your fitness goals.
What Is a Workout Plateau?
Simply put, a workout plateau is a stage in your fitness journey where you experience a slowdown or leveling off of progress, despite maintaining the same level of intensity and frequency of your workouts.
This can happen when your body becomes accustomed to the demands of your exercise routine, making it less challenging and less effective in promoting further improvement. As a result, you may no longer see changes in your physical performance or appearance, and feel like you’ve hit a roadblock in your progress.
Why Are You Experiencing a Workout Plateau?
A workout plateau happens when you hit a bump in the road of your fitness journey. It's when you've been doing the same exercises for a while and suddenly stop seeing progress, even though you're still putting in the effort. The reason this happens is because your body has adapted to your current routine and it's no longer as challenging as it once was.
The same old workout can get boring and demotivating, leading to a plateau. But overtraining, not giving your body enough time to recover, and burnout can also play a role.
Other factors that can cause a workout plateau include a lack of variety in your exercises, not pushing yourself hard enough, inconsistent training, an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, and not getting enough sleep. To avoid a workout plateau and keep seeing results, it's important to switch things up, take care of your body, and progressively challenge yourself.
How to Break a Workout Plateau?
Experiencing workout or fitness plateaus are normal, but that doesn't mean you have to get stuck in one. There are a couple of ways to break through and make progress again. Here are some tips to help you blast past a workout plateau.
1. Vary Your Exercise Routine
Varying your exercise routine is crucial in breaking through a workout plateau, and there are a variety of methods to do so.
A great place to begin is by changing the intensity and length of your workouts. If you're used to doing short, high-intensity exercises, you can try to switch to slower pace exercises like swimming or cycling. On the flip side, if you haven't been challenging yourself enough, make your workouts more intense by lifting heavier weights, doing more reps, and taking shorter breaks between sets.
2. Try Something New
Breaking through a workout plateau may require trying out new things to challenge your body differently. One option is to try a new sport, exercise class, or weight machine. This can not only mix up your routine but also target different muscle groups and movements, reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Another perk of trying something new is that it might provide a change of scenery and refresh your motivation.
If you're used to working out solo, consider joining a group class or sport to add some fun and social interaction to your routine. On the other hand, if you often exercise in a group setting, a solo workout could help you focus and clear your mind.
Another way to overcome a plateau is to add new equipment to your routine. This can help modify your exercises and make them more challenging. Some popular choices include resistance bands, kettlebells, and core sliders. You can also try wearing weighted vests, wrist weights, or ankle weights to add resistance to your movements.
It's also important to identify your weaknesses and work on strengthening them through specific exercises, even if they may be difficult or ones you usually avoid. This can help you progress and avoid plateaus in your progress.
3. Incorporate progressive overload techniques
The progressive overload technique is a widely used method for overcoming workout plateaus and achieving continued progress in fitness. The basic principle of progressive overload is to gradually increase the demands placed on your body during exercise so that it must continue to adapt and get stronger.
This can be achieved by adding weight to your lifts, increasing the number of reps and sets you perform, or by shortening your rest periods. By gradually pushing yourself to do more over time, you'll be able to challenge your muscles and avoid reaching a plateau. This will also help to prevent boredom and keep your workouts exciting.
4. Focus on nutrition
Nourishing your body with the right nutrients is crucial for building muscle and fueling your workouts. If your diet lacks sufficient amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and other essential nutrients, your training efforts will be in vain.
Also, having a low-calorie intake can negatively impact your progress. It can slow down your metabolism, making it harder to burn fat. To keep your metabolism active, try incorporating at least one high-carb cheat meal into your weekly diet. This may seem counterintuitive, but it can actually be beneficial in restarting your metabolism.
5. Make time for rest
It's widely known that getting enough rest is critical for both your physical and mental health. When you sleep, your body gets a chance to recharge and recover, including the release of growth hormones during REM sleep which helps your muscles grow and improves your ability to burn fat.
But working out too hard can lead to exhaustion and plateaus. Your body needs rest to help you reach your fitness goals. Without it, you won't see the progress you want.
Don't be afraid to take a break. As we mentioned before, overtraining can actually lead to setbacks in your progress and put too much stress on your body without giving it a chance to recover. Taking some time to rest and recharge will give your body the rest it needs to break through any workout plateaus.
In conclusion, hitting a workout plateau is a normal part of the fitness journey, but it can be overcome with the right approach. By varying your exercise routine, trying something new, incorporating progressive overload techniques, focusing on nutrition, and making time for rest, you can push past a plateau and continue to make progress. Remember, overcoming a workout plateau takes effort, but it is worth it to keep you motivated and excited about your fitness goals.
If you're looking to get fit and learn some new skills, why not try a workout at Ubud Muay Thai? With a wide range of classes, including Muay Thai training, boxing classes, strength and cardio conditioning, and more, there's something for everyone. Come join our friendly community and discover the benefits of training at Ubud Muay Thai today!