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The choice is yours… Make progress or make excuses! 8 Ways to bust a training plateau

 

It happens to me, to you, and to everyone who is trying to improve their health and fitness. That dreaded moment when you feel flat, stuck and demotivated – the dreaded training plateau.

The most important aspect of any plateau or training “sticking” point is not to make a massive issue out of it. The bigger the issue becomes, the deeper the hole you dig and the harder it is to get back on track.

Here are 8 helpful ways to deal with this inevitable beast:

#1 STAY IN CHARGE

‘You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.’ — Yogi Berra

Prevention is better than cure, and this is especially true when it comes to plateaus. By being clever with your training structure, you can avoid having moments where you feel all is lost. Stay in charge of your training by making sure you plan your week out, even if it’s as simple as writing on a post-it that you’re going to hit the gym three times this week. Place the note on your computer, fridge or car dash and use it as a positive reminder to stick to your plan.

#2 USE MUSIC

We all know the power of music, and the importance it plays in establishing atmosphere. Research has shown that working out to music increases effort and enables us to push out those two or three extra reps.

I teach lots of spin throughout the week and I know when my legs are starting to feel the burn, my mind wants to give up, When that happens, I find those “go-to” tracks that lift my mood, energise my muscles and allow me to surge to the next class….I even play them in the car to get me in the zone!

#3 POWER THROUGH A PLATEAU WITH WEIGHTS

When my clients are feeling the struggle of a training plateau, I often get them on the gym floor lifting weights. Just one awesome weights session can have ongoing effects that last much longer than a 30-minute run or walk.

Choose six of your favourite weightlifting exercises (for example, bicep curls, squats, shoulder presses, lunges, etc) and complete them with good form. You can put them into a circuit with a bit of body weight cardio (like burpees, bench jumps, squat jumps or stair runs) in between, or you can just work through the six exercises back-to- back…..either way, just lift and build those muscles!

#4 SET YOURSELF SOME TARGETS

“You can’t rest unless you set goals that make you stretch.” — Tom Hopkins

Ensure that the next milestones you set are meaningful and inspire you. Talk to one of our personal trainers about milestones that would work for you. Then write them down, and re-read them often.

#5 SET A STRUCTURE

Don’t be afraid of committing to a training structure when you feel the pressure of the training plateau. This will give you focus, energise you, and give your fitness journey purpose.

For Example:

Monday: Group Fitness Class based around Strength (Body Pump, CxWorx, Synrgy360)

Tuesday: Cardio session (Steady effort or an Interval or a High Intensity)

Wednesday: Stretch and Low Impact Recovery (Power Yoga)

Thursday: Full Day Off

Friday: Spin Class

Saturday: Weights on the gym floor.

Sunday: Full Day Off.

#6 BODY SLAM THE BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES

Exercises that use your own bodyweight are a great motivator to power through a plateau. How many push-ups can you do in 60 seconds? Do this a couple of times a week and over the course of the month see how you improve!

Work on your technique in body weight exercise. If you want to learn how to do a handstand, then work on the different stages of strength training to get those legs above your head. Planks, situps, chinups, dips, burpees, squat jumps, tuck jumps, star jumps….all of these can be mastered and improved upon. Include them in your workouts to add intensity.

#7 GO WITH THE GROUP

This is the no-brainer of how to get through a training plateau. When you participate in group training, you’re surrounded by all different types of fitness enthusiasts. This in itself is motivating.

Get stuck into your favourite classes or register to try out some new classes. Either way, powering on through peer support will help you bust a plateau apart.

#8 SWEAT UP A STORM

I always say if we could bottle that feeling of achievement after a sweaty, awesome workout, then we would never plateau! After an intense sweat session, you feel invigorated and ready to take on the world. Throw in some workouts to make you the world’s strongest, fittest and sweatiest person. Sessions where you know that sweat is going to happen, Spin, Synrgy360, Body Attack, Tabata!Combine these tips over a two-week period and see how good you feel. It’s not easy to hurdle a plateau, but it sure is satisfying when you get through to the other side.Have questions on how to bust apart a training plateau? Email me at dugald@northshoregym.com.au