Overcoming a Fitness Plateau
Hitting a plateau is one of the worst yet most common issue when you’re on a journey to attain a fit and healthy body.Countless hours in the gym and diet leads to a stagnant point after some time but don’t get disheartened when your scale stops moving.
Here are 5 efficient ways to overcome a fitness plateau and make your body a fat burning machine.
1.Switch up your pre existing routine
Performing various sets of same old movements like squats, chest press, lunges, pull ups, etc makes your body used to the movement after a certain time. One should shock their muscles with new movement for overcoming the plateau.
There are various ways one can switch up their routine :
A. For e.g
To spice up your workouts, You can implement new movements like-
Bulgarian Split Squat
Find yourself a step, bench or any other contraption that you can rest a foot on, it needs to be about knee height. Get into a forward lunge position with torso upright, core braced and hips square to your body, with your back foot elevated on the bench. Your leading leg should be half a metre or so in front of bench. Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Don't let your front knee travel beyond your toes. Drive up through your front heel back to the starting position, again keeping your movements measured.
Turkish Get Up
From the fetal position, roll onto your back. Extend your right arm (arm that holds the load) and bring your right heel close to your butt. Drive through your right heel and roll to your left elbow. Get tall. Push the floor away with your left palm to sit tall.
Sweep your left leg under your right leg and behind you until your left hand, left knee, and left foot are in a straight line. Sit on your left heel and go into a tall kneel. Look straight ahead now. Observe a lunge position and get up.
Spider Push Ups
Start in a plank position, your hands slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, but directly under your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from heels to head.Tighten your core and begin bending your elbows, so they angle backward at 45-degrees from your body as you lower your chest toward the floor. Inhale as you move through the lowering phase of the exercise. Pick up your right foot and draw your right knee up and out, so your right knee reaches your elbow just as your chest hovers about an inch or two from the mat. Reverse the movement, extending your elbows to press up to the plank position as you simultaneously extend your knee and return your right foot to the floor. Exhale as you press yourself back to the starting position. Repeat to the opposite side, this time bringing your left knee to your left elbow.
Dragon Fly Crunches
Get into proper position by locking your arms in a fixed overhead position. You can do this on a bench, with your hand next to your head and gripping the sides of the bench, or you can grip a stable object overhead. Some people use kettlebells or a barbell, but using something fixed and stable is a bit more practical, and quite a bit safer. Contract your torso and drive your legs up as if you are performing a reverse crunch, but keep your body rigid from your shoulders to toes, and avoid bending the hips. Point your toes to help maintain proper body alignment. Once lifted, slowly lower your legs in a controlled motion without letting any part of your body touch the bench other than the upper back and shoulder. If you cave in, drop your hips, or arch your back, you don't have the strength yet and you should not continue the exercise. Lower your body until it is hovering just over the bench.
B. You can also change the tempo of the exercises that you perform I.e. if you usually perform HIIT movements, you can create a routine with slow controlled movement for proper emphasis on contraction of muscles.
2.Commit to your plan
Always be realistic when you’re setting up a plan to attain your desirable body.Over planning and failing to meet the required efforts will only set you up for disappointment.If your plan is too taxing on your body, bring your workout routine down a notch whereas if you barely feel exhaustion then you need to upgrade your routine.There are going to be days where you feel discouraged by the plateau but instead of focusing on the stagnant result; focus on keeping your chin up, following your routine and staying committed to your plan religiously because in the end it’s going to be worth it.
You must’ve heard this phrase quite a lot “Muscles start building in the last 3 reps of the set when you can’t go on”
Scientifically, this is not 100% accurate but the key take from this is no matter what the movement always push yourself to your level best on each and every set as it leads to greater muscle growth. Breathe properly, concentrate fully on contracting your muscles and never compromise on your form.If you don’t push yourself hard enough it’s obvious you’re going to experience a plateau.
4.Find a workout partner
Going to the gym alone can get quite boring after a point and leads to lethargy at times.Find someone to partner up with you for your workouts as it’s found that people who workout with a buddy are more motivated and find their workouts more enjoyable.If there’s someone monitoring and motivating you to push harder than before then you can easily overcome the mental blocks in your mind.
Over exhausting your muscles will do more harm than good.Recovery is an essential component of life be it in fitness, business or personal life.If you don’t recover well, it will lead to a burn out.Muscles are built over micro tears in our tissue; if we don’t take our recover seriously, muscle growth is hindered to a great extent.Recovery doesn’t mean expensive Swedish massages or fancy cryo therapy; it means taking a long walk in the park, meditating, stretching your muscles, having a proper sleep schedule or carrying out activities that give you pleasure.