“Fitness is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be”. When you start seeing the benefits of your fitness routine, you probably were so excited to get back to the gym and get more done. Slowly by slowly though, you may reach a point where you aren’t so thrilled about working out anymore. What happened? Where did all the enthusiasm go? The scenario is what is called a ‘fitness plateau’.
A fitness plateau is usually a result of not being able to recognize any major changes physically after some time of following a strict fitness routine. This happens because your body adapted to your routine and therefore doesn’t respond as much as it did in the past. It may play out like this: You lose a consistent 2 pounds a week for a few months and then suddenly stop even though you’re still following the exact same routine. The scientific name reason is called Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. It happens just like how any task may seem exciting at first but then make you bored after a while. There are a few things that can be done to both prevent and break free from a fitness plateau:
Alter your routine
Since your body is telling you it wants a new challenge, the easiest way to break free is to give it just that. There are many ways you can do this from increasing your reps, modifying your routine into something more challenging or incorporating a totally new routine. If you do this, you will see results come back.
Get the facts
Not every perceived fitness plateau is really one. You need to be totally sure that your body really has 100% adopted to your routine before deciding to alter it. The way to determine this is to check your food intake and workout. Keep a record of how much food you are eating vs. how much work you are doing in the gym. Perhaps, you simply put on some holiday weight without noticing it.
Keep it positive
Don’t think of this stage as a failure on your part but accept it for what it is- your body’s natural response. This is the perfect go signal for you to level up your fitness act. You can even set higher goals now that your body can handle them so the fitness plateau isn’t something to be afraid of.
One of the things to remember when tackling this stage is not to overwork yourself. It is too easy to get overwhelmed and embark on an unreasonable routine.
Here’s a video of how you can diversify your program: