Ever heard the saying, “It never gets easier, you only get stronger.”?
This is true, if, you’re keeping your body guessing during your workouts. Working out puts stress on your body, and your body quickly learns and adapts to these stressors. It’s important to keep your body guessing if you don’t want to hit a fitness plateau. Instead, you’re trying to see changes, trying to get stronger, or looking to build muscle. Simply put, the more you do something the easier it becomes (practice makes perfect right!) The more you do a push up, the easier it will become. However, when building muscle and losing weight this repetition can cause a plateau.
When your body is preforming the same movements every week, for a long period of time, your muscles can become stagnant (meaning they’re not going to change), this is what causes a fitness plateau. Sooo unfortunately, you have to change up that comfortable routine regularly, to increase strength and to continue to see change in your body!
When your body is preforming the same movements every week, for a long period of time, your muscles become stagnant.
Time for change.
Ideally there is no real structure or plan, because you will be changing the routine on the regular. Now this can get confusing because in order to build muscle you have to continuously preform movement, with resistance on that muscle correct? Yes. So, keep doing those squats! However, once you feel like a certain movement has become a little easier or comfortable this is where you will need to start making changes so you don’t hit a fitness plateau. You can try increasing resistance (add weight) or increasing reps. If you typically do cardio on the treadmill, try doing sprints one day a week, or hopping onto the bike. And continue this for about 12 weeks, then change it again. There are a lot of small tweaks you can make to basic movements that will make a difference.
For example, if you have been working on push ups and can do 10-15 no problem, try different push up variations. Put one foot on top of the other, put a step or bench under your feet so you’re on an angle, bring a leg up to the side of your body during push up motion (spider push up), use a medicine ball. There are many variations of each exercise movement, it just takes a little tweaking to start targeting different muscles.
Hitting a fitness plateau is normal, and super common.
Over the years I have learned this through trial and error. I’m still learning. However, about a year and a half ago, after consistently doing high cardio workouts, and leaning out, rather then building muscle, hitting my own fitness plateau. I decided to start changing up my routine a little. I was looking to build muscle, so I started lifting weights. And, I cut my cardio down to once or twice a week, and changed my cardio routine, (HIIT, running, spin, high intensity workouts). Once I started added heavier weights, changing up the reps, altering my movements slightly, I started to notice some changes in my body. Now, I try to increase my weights every 3-4 months. I successfully ended my fitness plateau and it helps keeps my workouts interesting. I’m always trying new things, and learning new movements.
I know, my least favourite muscle group to workout is my abs, so I often neglect them… but I’m trying to make a more conscious effort to focus on just abs once a week. Especially once you’ve been working out for years it becomes more and more difficult to see changes. I know its hard, once you’ve finally found a workout you like, now you have to change it?! If you’re new to exercise, first I would suggest you just find something you like. Work on figuring out what works for you and your body. This tip, is more for those who have been working out for at least 6 months and have found they’ve hit a fitness plateau. Also, for those who are looking to target certain areas to strengthen.
Try a new class once a week. Try adding weight to your current routine. Small tweaks, such as adding a resistance band on your legs during squats can go a long way. If you’re stuck for a new workout, check out my landmine workout or resistance band full body workout!
So, I hate to break it to you babes! But it doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger! (And our bodies are so smart and catch on!) 😉
If you have any questions, or need some ideas, or suggestions feel free to message me about your current routine and I will help you tweak your movements for some new results!