A fitness plateau is normal; I can’t count how many I’ve encountered and conquered, only to meet again. In the past I would get frustrated and back off from my workouts when I hit a plateau. Then I’d feel guilty and step it back up, blowing on by. I was always fighting the plateaus, which I now know is silly. Don’t fight your fitness plateaus, embrace them!
Start simple, recognizing that your fitness plateau is telling you something. It’s screaming at you in big bold letters; do something different. You need to switch up your workouts and get out of that comfort zone. The best way to attack a plateau is by checking your workout calendar (See my post on fitness calendars here). You’ve been good, keeping track of all your workouts and pushing yourself. But is there variety in your weekly exercise, and are your abilities improving?
Keeping track of both what you do, and your progress, is key to conquering a fitness plateau before you hit one. If you’re a runner, I recommend using a run tracker such as Mapmyrun. You can see your pace, distance, total time, and more for all your runs! Now take an honest look at what you’ve achieved. What do you want to change? Are you on a plateau? If you’re looking for a faster pace, then hone in on it and push yourself to run faster, or farther in the same time. Don’t get stuck running the same route day in and day out either. Your body can get complacent and you just don’t realize. Mapmyrun even has a pace tracking feature you can turn on during your run to help. Don’t forget variety. Add interval runs into your workout calendar to improve your stamina and endurance. Intervals are also great at showing you just how fast you can go!
Getting a workout partner is another great way to beat a fitness plateau. Everyone has different limits and abilities, and nothing beats some good old motivation from a partner. If you’re a runner like me, try running with someone else. You’re guaranteed to run faster and farther. Working out with someone always makes the workout go by faster. It’s a lot more fun and helps motivate to push yourself harder. If I could workout with someone else every day, I would! I think it’s the best way to push past a plateau.
What else can you do to conquer a fitness plateau? Completely switch up your workouts! This is something that can be daunting, but our bodies get really good at what we do repeatedly. They need a new challenge in order to grow. So try a completely new workout. If you’ve never done yoga, find a yoga class and start adding it into your weekly routine. Yoga, especially power yoga, is a great way to have a challenging workout while rejuvenating yourself. I’m always faster, less sore, and more focused when I’m consistently practicing yoga.
My favorite way to get past a fitness plateau is by adding to your workouts. Simply fill in more of your workout calendar; I’ve been consistently doing this for a year now. Every month I take on a new 30 day fitness challenge. They’re amazing! Adding in a challenge is super motivating and definitely challenging. It gives me a goal to reach every month, and depending on the challenge, it completely changes my workouts. I can’t STRESS these challenges enough. I find that I push past my plateaus so easily with them.
Okay kids, we’re conquering fitness plateaus! But remember; take the time to understand what the plateaus mean. They mean you’re on the right track, working hard, and at a point where you need to step on the gas. Do it! Don’t back off or get frustrated. Take that plateau HEAD on. Make it a fun point in your fitness progression! Embrace your fitness plateau!
Photo Credits to: http://www.heart.org/ http://www.corepoweryoga.com/ http://fitnessaces.com/