How to avoid the dreaded plateau
You’ve been training for a few months now and it’s been going great. That is until the last couple of weeks. Recently you’ve noticed the scales are not giving you the positive reinforcement you’ve become accustomed to. Runkeeper hasn’t congratulated you on breaking another time or distance record. Maybe your food reward days are becoming more tempting and frequent. Frustrating? Yes. Time to give up and accept the new status quo? Hell no!
Here’s 5 ways to get you back on track:
- SHAKE IT UP. That’s up, not off (sorry Taylor Swift fans). It’s all too easy to get stuck doing the same exercise programme every session. If you are always doing the same thing how can you realistically expect to improve? It can’t. Keep your body guessing.
- If you’re used to doing squats, replace them with lunges. Treadmill becomes cycling or rowing. Substitute your circuit class for a kettlebell class. Etc etc.
- Typically go out on a 3-5 mile run? Switch it up and try something harder and faster. Half mile reps should do the trick. Run half a mile as fast as you can, jog recovery for 2 minutes. Repeat 6 times. Simple. Effective. You might just notice your times improve considerably when you do go back to the 5 miler.
- Don’t have a vast array of exercise knowledge? No worries; do whatever you are currently doing, but do it backwards (start at end of training programme and work back to the usual starting point). By varying your workout, your muscles won’t get accustomed to regularity.
- Rest and sleep. Muscles need time to recover from any draining exercise. It’s a common misconception that the more you train, the better results achieved. Without sufficient recovery, muscles reach a catabolic state, in which the tissue breaks down, thus slowing metabolism and preventing weight loss.
- Don’t rest. Yes you’ve read this correctly, and no I’m not contradicting myself. This is a very separate point. During weight training, or interval training? Crank up the intensity by reducing the rest period. Push yourself and feel those extra calories burn away!
- Hydrate. Water isn’t just for the shower after. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential for transporting oxygen around the body. You should be drinking around 2 litres of water every day. More if exercising.
- Have fun. Losing weight doesn’t have to be about just pounding the pavements. If you can’t bear the thought of endlessly running alone, try encouraging a friend along too. Maybe try an exercise class, join a sports club or better still hire yourself a personal trainer (We know a few we can highly recommend)…click here