Why You Hit A Workout Plateau
In January, you made the resolution to start eating healthier and to work out more. You were excited, you bought new gym clothes and finally set up your Fitbit or Apple Watch. The number on the scale started to go down until one day… it stopped.
So what happened?
Your body is experiencing a plateau. No matter what type of change you are making in your life, you will most likely experience a plateau. It’s unavoidable.
Plateaus are signs that it’s time to change your eating habits and workout routine.
So when you get to that point where you aren’t seeing results anymore, take a deep breath and remember you aren’t alone. Then try to determine which of the following reasons why you're experiencing a plateau so you can bounce back and work towards your goals.
Common Reasons for a Workout or Weightloss Plateau
1. Lack of Variety
If you’re the type of person that likes to stick to routines, your body may have adapted to your training program. Yes, you lost those first 10 pounds by running on the treadmill 5 days a week. Unfortunately, it’s not going to work forever.
It’s important to introduce new moves, new weights, and change the intensity of your workouts. Over time, your muscles will adjust again which is why it’s best to create a training plan that only lasts for 4 - 6 weeks before you switch it up again.
In short, get uncomfortable. Take a cycling class, switch from the machine to dumbells, exercise outdoors… shock your body by trying something new. The results will speak for themselves.
2. Low Energy
Sleep is vital!
Getting a good night’s rest isn’t just to keep you from being cranky the next day. We need 7-8 hours of sleep every night to perform our best the next day.
Low energy could also be a result of not getting enough rest days. Don’t feel pressured to work out every single day. Find a routine that works for you. You have to give your body time to recover.
3. Sprint vs. Marathon
Remember when you first started working out and after two weeks you lost all that weight? That kind of weight loss won’t last forever. Be mindful of teas, tricks, and trainers that advertise quick results.
Change your mindset and realize that eating healthy and working out are lifestyle choices. Figure out what is going to work for you in the long run.
“Nothing worth having comes easy” - Theodore Roosevelt
4. Nutrition is Key
How often do we try our best to eat healthier and then reward ourselves with a “cheat meal” that turns into a cheat weekend? There has to be some sort of balance in your diet in order for you to see results and continue to progress. Consider the 80/20 rule if you’re having trouble balancing your diet.
Try keeping a food log to track what you’ve been eating and see if you need to make adjustments. You don’t need to do the latest diet or fad to reach your goals. But it’s a good idea to eat healthy, non-processed foods, as much as possible. It will have a big impact on how you feel and perform.
5. Bad Timing
Maybe your work-life balance has changed since you made your goals. Or you’ve taken on new responsibilities, went through a hardship, or a bad breakup. Acknowledge that life happens and take the time to deal with these things.
It’s OK to take a week or two off to prioritize other things in your life. Don’t feel guilty. Maybe you need to work out from home for a while to save money or care for your children. Or maybe you realized home workouts aren’t your thing and its time to commit to a gym membership.
If you’ve been training for a race and haven’t seen any improvement. It may be time to redefine your goals to just finishing your race or looking for a virtual option to complete at a later date.
Bust Through Your Plateau
The first quarter of 2020 is quickly coming to an end and there’s nothing more frustrating than hitting a plateau. The good news is you still have 9 more months to work on your weight loss or workout goals.
If you’ve hit a plateau, it is possible to see results again. You just have to relax and hit the restart button so that you can re-evaluate your goals and your routine.
Believe in yourself and stay disciplined. You’ll get through this in no time.