You're following a weekly workout routine and your diet plan, but for whatever reason, you're not seeing continued results. Welcome to the club! This is normal for many people who work out. Below are some common signs that you're hitting a fitness plateau:
1. The current weight you are lifting isn’t a challenge. Strength training is meant to be challenging because the whole point is to overload your muscles so they get bigger and stronger. If the weight hasn't been as challenging as it used to be (or isn’t challenging at all!), then it is time to start lifting more.
2. You're not fatigued after your typical workout routine. When lifting, you should feel muscle “fatigue” within 15 repetitions. Muscle fatigue feels like you couldn’t possibly do another repetition in good form. If you can do more than 15 reps in good form, then you're ready to increase your resistance.
3. You have never increased the weight you lift. Continuing to progress in strength training is essential to getting the most out of your workouts—that means lifting more weight as you get stronger over time.
4. Your weight loss has halted or you've noticed your progress has come to a stop. Without making your body work harder than normal, your body composition won't change. As you train, your muscles will grow stronger in order to meet the demands you are placing on them. This means you need to increase the intensity of your workouts to keep progressing.
So what can you do to get out of this fitness rut?
1. Mix it up! Our bodies are designed to acclimate to repeated challenges, making it necessary to change your cardio routine every four to six weeks and your strength training routine. Try taking an Edge Strong class, these classes are designed by personal trainers and are unique each time - so you're not doing the same workout over and over! Add in some different types of classes throughout the week so you're always mixing it up!
2. Add more to your routine. If you run three times a week for 30 minutes, add some hills to your run or increase the length of your runs. Add in some intervals to really increase the calorie burn. Or switch it up entirely and take a spin class or add some strength training after your 30-minute run.
3. Pump It Up! Make your strength training routine more intense. Increase the frequency of your strength training and/or increase the amount you're lifting for a bigger challenge.
4. Work with a personal trainer! They are certified and know how to make the most out of your workouts - they take the guesswork out so all you have to do is show up! A personal trainer can provide:
- A new perspective: Your trainer will see areas of your program that could be adjusted to make your workout more interesting, more challenging, or even just more fun.
- A challenge: A trainer will look at your workout performance and let you know where you can improve or where you can push yourself a little harder.
- New routines: Trainers are experienced in many different types of workouts. They can guide you when using new equipment, doing a new routine, or mixing it up to reach your goals.