How to Avoid Fitness Plateaus
Did you know that over 73% of people give up before achieving their fitness goals? One of the biggest reasons for this is because they stop seeing results, so we're here to help you learn how to avoid fitness plateaus so you can hit those goals you've set for yourself.
So you started a fitness routine and 4 weeks have gone by. Your results have been great: down in body fat, gained some muscle, and feeling better. You continue down this path for another 4 weeks and find that you're hitting a brick wall. Your body fat becomes stagnant, you stop seeing strength gains, and you feel like you're spinning your wheels.
Why did this happen?
General adaptation is your body’s ability to change based on its surrounding environment. It’s okay if you don’t understand what that means because I'll explain my favorite example of this concept...
Have you ever met someone who lives down South? They think that Chicago winter’s are literally the coldest thing on the planet. Why? Their bodies have generally adapted to the environment that they are surrounded by.
So how does this concept apply to exercise?
Your body adapts to stimulus. Stimulus comes in many forms. In the example above, the weather (temperature specifically) is the stimulus. Your body receives heat for an extended period of time, and that becomes the norm. Exercise is no different. When you workout, your body is receiving a stimulus (high heart rate and muscle fatigue) for an extended period of time and then adapts. This is the equivalent to the first 4 weeks of your workout routine that deliver amazing results!
But what about the next 4 weeks….?
During the first 4 weeks, your body gains strength in order to accommodate your new workouts. When you start a fitness routine you are guaranteed to see results because your body goes from not exercising to exercising. Your body doesn't like to struggle, so when you start exercising, your body adapts by getting stronger and deceives you into thinking the exercises are easier. When the exercise becomes “easier, there's no reason for your body to change and become stronger. If there is no struggle, there is no change.
Well, how do I avoid this?
Replicate the struggle you persevered on your first day, EVERY day. Remember that first workout you did? It was the hardest thing you'd ever. If you can replicate that feeling every workout, your body will continuously adapt to the struggle. This is a lot easier said than done...
This involves trying to push out more reps, increasing your speed, or lifting heavier weights. Muscle failure is the quickest way to adapt your body. Your body doesn’t like to struggle, remember? Failure is a struggle.
If you implement this strategy into your fitness routine, you'll find yourself plateauing less and seeing those gains on a month to month basis.
If you need help implementing this strategy, let us help you! Join our 12 Week Program and get expert fitness instruction in both large and small group settings, detailed body scans on our InBody scanner, and an easy-to-follow macronutrient breakdown to make healthy eating simple and straightforward.