Staying active is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But whether you’re a fitness fanatic or simply a once-a-week gym-goer, we’ve all experienced that dreaded moment when you realize that after multiple hours a week spent working out, you’re suddenly no longer seeing the results you want. This kind of roadblock (or exercise plateau as many trainers call it) to your fitness goals can be especially discouraging, which is why we tapped two top experts for their tips on what to do differently if you’re working out regularly and still not seeing the results you desire.
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First, reassess your existing routine.
“My go-to strategy is assessing your current regimen,” says Coach Mike DiJune. “What are you doing? What are your goals? This is important if you want to break a plateau.” Once you streamline your fitness goals and start working towards them, results will follow.
Address any injuries.
To put it simply, exercising while injured is a waste of time. When you’re injured, you can’t put your full effort into the workout you’re participating in, so make sure to recover before jumping back into your routine. “Address your weaknesses or injuries and try focusing on what you need to improve during workouts,” says Julie “Jaws” Nelson, trainer at Rumble Boxing.
Try a new repetitions sequence.
“A second technique to break your plateau is changing up your training style,” continues DiJune. “Find a harder program or a harder workout. Do some AMRAP (as many reps as possible) sets and go to a really hard class.”
Change your diet.
This isn’t exactly a shocker, but diet plays a major part in how your body will respond to exercise. Many people will spend hours in the gym but eat an unhealthy and unbalanced diet which, unsurprisingly, sabotages their ability to lose weight. “When it comes to nutrition, it varies from person to person,” says DiJune. “You don’t need to do crazy juice cleanses because everyone else is doing them, just be consistent with a healthy diet.” If finding the right diet to fuel your workouts is an issue for you, try apps like Virtual Health Partners or MyFitnessPal to help you keep track of your food intake and even allow you to chat with a live nutritionist at any time of the day.”
Get more sleep.
Unsurprisingly, workouts are severely impacted by a lack of sleep. “This alone can cause you to plateau in your workouts,” explains Nelson. So, make sure to clock in at least eight hours of shut eye a night—your body will thank you.
Amp up weight training.
“Most people do a great job of maintaining their cardio workouts, but let the strength training slip away,” explains Nelson. In order to change your body, workouts should be challenging. So if you’re constantly doing cardio workouts, your body isn’t forced to adapt to new movements and therefore, won’t change.
Recover properly after every workout.
“Take a couple rest days to recover after hard workouts,” says Nelson. If you’re working out every day, you’re most likely burning yourself out and not getting the most out of your workouts anyway, so be sure to make recovery days a priority.
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