5 Workout plateaus and how to overcome them
Simply going to the gym or out for a jog sometimes isn't good enough. Any form of movement is beneficial, but if you're noticing that progress has stalled or that you can do your favourite fitness class in your sleep, you may have hit a plateau. Don't worry, though; we can help you get back on track.
When you had first set a goal to get healthy or lose weight, there was an excitement that came from packing your gym bag, heading out on your walk or run or doing your routine at the gym. But now you almost can't be bothered to go, and when you're there, you're so bored you could nap while working out.
The fix: Do something different. Being bored with your workout means you're doing too much of the same thing, and it's time to make some changes. Try a new running route, take some different classes at the gym, and add some new exercises to your current routine.
You're not losing weight
It can be very frustrating to lose weight when you first start working out or toward your weight loss goals and then suddenly stop seeing the numbers on the scale budge. This is a common plateau that plagues even the most diligent gym-goers. If you've stopped seeing the results you want, it's time to make some tweaks to your workout routine.
The fix: Take a long, hard look at your diet and workout. Are you being as diligent as you were when you first started to see the weight coming off? If not, aim to get back on track with both your commitment to working out and your healthy eating plan. If you're just as committed as you were but still not losing weight, book a session (or a few sessions) with a personal trainer. They can help improve your workout so you lose those last few pounds.
You're skipping workouts
Can't bear the thought of one more pre-work morning at the gym? Or maybe you're driving past the gym after work more often than stopping in for a workout? Either way, if you're skipping workouts, you need to look at what's causing your lack of motivation.
The fix: Ask yourself why you're having such a hard time working out. It likely has something to do with when you're trying to get to the gym. If you're not a morning person or feel too frazzled before work to take a step class, switch to evening workouts. The same goes for post-work gym sessions that have you dreading leaving the office. That could mean you'd be better off burning calories in the morning.
You don't feel like you're getting a workout
There's no reason to feel like you're climbing Mount Everest with every workout, but you should feel like you're working hard, not simply going through the motions. If you're barely breaking a sweat and can carry on a normal conversation during your workout, you need to switch things up.
The fix: Up the ante. If you're simply jogging lightly for 40 minutes every other day, then add in some intervals at a faster pace or some sprints. If you're still doing the "beginner" moves in your fitness classes, then try the more advanced exercises. The key is to challenge yourself so your body doesn't get too used to the movements you're doing. The more challenged you are (within reason), the more changes you'll see in your body.
You're tired or sore
Workouts can leave your muscles sore, but you shouldn't be in pain or overtired at the end of the week or after every gym session. If that's the case, reconsider the workouts you're doing, and look at why they're affecting your body like they are.
The fix: Make sure you're doing your workouts correctly. If you've been doing Pilates from a website or DVD and find yourself getting sore, it might be a good idea to go to a class to make sure you've got the moves right before you continue on your own. At the gym, ask a trainer if you're doing various exercises correctly so you don't hurt yourself.