Nothing is more frustrating than putting in hours at the gym and not seeing results. This is hitting a plateau and the feeling is exactly that; pure frustration.
Basically, hitting a plateau means that your body stops responding to the stress your placing upon it. You stop seeing changes, therefor new results lessen and eventually diminish.
Why does this happen?
The best example I can think of is this: Let’s say you are eating 2000 calories a day. Suddenly you decide to only eat 1800 calories a day. Two weeks go by and your down 5 pounds! Another two weeks go by, your still eating 1800 calories, but you’re still only 5 lbs down. You have hit a plateau. You need to make a change in order to overcome this, such as dropping down to 1600 calories or increasing activity.
The same thing goes for working out. When you first started this journey, your body probably went through immense changes. You melted away body fat, gained muscle and lost inches off your waist. This is because you introduced a change into your daily routine your body was not used to, so it adapted. This is especially true for obese or extremely over weight people. A person who is 30% + body fat will see a tremendous change in their body compared to someone who is only 12% body fat, even if they’re doing the same workouts. This is because there is far more fat for the obese persons’ body to lose compared to the person with only 12% body fat. However, once the obese person drops body fat, there changes will be less and less noticeable as they continue this journey.
This is neither good nor bad. When I lose 5 lbs from the weight I am at now (140 lbs), I notice a difference immediately. To everyone else however, I look the same. As you go through your fitness journey you will need more intense exercises to see changes. Always go with how YOU feel though! If you are completely happy with your weight and YOU feel like your seeing the right changes, fuck what other people say.
When I first started working out, 15 squats had me so sore the next day! Now, 15 squats is half of my warm up.
As you move on, you should be getting better, stronger, faster and leaner…so naturally you must adapt. If you’re not seeing the changes you want, you are hitting a plateau, and something needs to be altered.
Tips for Never Hitting a Plateau:
- Bodybuilding is dead. Well, not really. What I mean is isolating your muscle groups when working out is not the way to do it every time. I remember I used to have a back day, chest day, leg day, shoulder day, etc… and repeat that every week. While this is great if you are trying to gain a lot of size, you shouldn’t do this type of workout regimen every week. What I suggest doing is this:
- Do 2 days of traditional body building, but combine an upper body with a lower body. For example: Shoulders and Legs. These are a great pair to do together.
- The next 2 days, focus on 1 muscle group each day but make the entire workout HIIT. For example: Back. You could do renegade row burpees, pull up burpees, battle rope burpees, and bent over row burpees with a moderate weight.
- The following 2 days, focus on 2 muscle groups but switch to resistance training and balance. For example: Chest and Arms. Use the TRX, resistance bands, bosu ball and medicine balls.
- Take a rest day or just do cardio.
- Another way to mix things up is to do alternate days of heavy weight, moderate weight and light weight; all combined with HIIT activity.
- For example: Day 1 – Heavy Squats with HIIT activity focused on upper body. Day 2 – Heavy Shoulders/Back with HIIT activity focused legs. Day 3 – Moderate weight Lunges with HIIT activity focused on full body. Day 4 – Light Weight/Body Weight Back with HIIT focused on Legs. Day 5 – Light Weight Legs with HIIT focus on core. Day 6 – Heavy Upper Body (chest, arms, back, shoulders) with HIIT activity focused on legs.
- Do a little bit of everything! Combine 1 & 2’s tips for maximum benefit. You already know burpees are my favorite, and I include them in every workout and I’m always changing them up.
I am offering my ‘8 week workout program‘ for $25, too! My program does the following:
- Starts out slow, building you up to intense exercises and provides helpful tips along the way
- It is set up just like the tips I provided above. It is structured into muscle groups to ensure focus, however, you use your full body in almost every exercise. This ensures that your always engaging your core (hello, abs!) and confusing your body so you never hit a plateau!
- I don’t want you to have to depend on me (or anyone for that matter) to workout. My program is designed to teach you how to build your own workouts. In the last 4 weeks, I list options for you to pick and choose from workouts so you can build the body YOU want. I give explanations why you would choose a certain exercise over the other to help you better understand how to pair workouts. Because of this, this program actually lasts you FOR LIFE. You can use it over and over again combining different methods so you are always seeing changes. You control how hard you want it to be or how easy you want it to be. I feel like I have done my job correctly when you no longer need me to write workouts for you and you can do it yourself! After all, this is a lifestyle, I want you to carry this knowledge with you throughout life so you can be successful, happy and healthy!
- In just 8 weeks, you learn 100’s of new workouts, tips and information on how to build the body of your dreams!
Do my #21dayworkoutchallenge’s with me!
- Follow me on Instagram @sarathefit and every 21 days I start a new challenge. This is completely free and super fun! You can join in at anytime. All you have to do is tag me @sarathefit and hashtag #21day______challenge (whatever challenge we’re doing, right now I am hosting the burpee challenge!) so I can find you and keep you motivated! Ya’ll keep me motivated with your posts, too. It is a great way to build a community where we all support each other and hold each other accountable. It’s a lot easier to miss a workout when you don’t have a supportive community. You are less likely to miss a workout if you see that everyone else is staying on track, it makes you want to stay on track too!
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