If you’ve hit the figurative “fitness wall,” try blasting past it by changing up your workouts, tweaking your schedule, finding an exercise buddy and tapping into a new, healthy mindset.
Everyone will experience a stall in progress toward fitness goals, especially if you never change up your cardio routine or learn new exercise-related skills, such as increasing agility or balance.
1 Most likely you’ll realize it when you don’t see improvement toward fitness goals any longer. Perhaps the scale readings that were reliably declining now seem stuck on a number you’re not happy with. It happens to us all, casual exercisers and the best athletes too. Several things may be preventing you from getting past your own plateau. But you can change all that, and here’s how:
2 If you’ve hit a wall and you are a beginner exerciser, you may not have found your ideal exercise activity, one which keeps you engaged while kicking your butt during your workout. Experiment with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or try new classes, a different personal trainer or just intensify your workouts to push them to the next level.
3 When is the last time you walked a new route, chose a new cardio workout at the gym, or experimented with a brand-new piece of weight lifting equipment? Exactly! Your main strategy comes down to this: Simply try something new. Our fitness experts recommend that you experiment with fresh activities that jolt your muscles and shift your mind-body connection.
Include high-intensity cardio intervals (or HIIT Training) as mentioned above, to elevate your heart rate as much as possible for 60 seconds. After three minutes of moderate activity, hit a high peak for one intense minute, then scale back to a moderate pace for three minutes. Using this 3:1 effort ratio on any type of cardio machine will make your workout more interesting – and far more effective! It will work wonders for you, whether you’re on a bike, stair climber, treadmill, or exercising outside.
Finally, if you have been performing the same cardio workout (or even using the same type of cardio machine) for more than a few months you are already overdue for a cross-training workout or some activity that shakes you out of your exercise doldrums. Hmmm, belly dancing class? (Improvement is impossible if you do the same workout every day.)
Do your favorite strength exercises but in a totally different order
Use barbells and kettle bells instead of your regular dumbbells or weighted balls
Hit major hills on the treadmill: Increase incline from 2% every three minutes
Use the jump rope and the boxing bags for a change
Hire a personal trainer to show you 10 exercise variations on your favorite equipment
Hit the pool and do your strength or cardio workouts underwater for a month
Add at least one new weighted workout into your weekly schedule
Do a biathlon to bump up fitness motivation and get you into-tip-top shape
Rent a new workout DVD or try a routine such as hot yoga or cardio rowing
Add one extra set to each strength machine or weight workout you do this week
Never wait for another exercise machine – do jumping jacks or jog in place until your machine frees up at the gym or studio
Change your swim stroke each time you jump back in the pool: backstroke, butterfly
Speaking of the pool, do a standing Pilates series or yoga Sun Salutations in the deep end of the pool to challenge yourself.
Join a gym with an exercise buddy who won’t flake out on you. Your commitment to your training partner might very well be greater than the one you’ve made to yourself.
Bodies adapt to the same-old blah workout in just 4-6 weeks. Unless you frequently change things up, you’ll stop seeing results quickly! Integrate little changes by switching your speed, cardio frequency, distance and duration, and the main activity itself. Try listening to new, faster paced music.
In every exercise session, be sure to warm-up, cool-down and stretch. Now get out there, change up your stale routine and blast past your exercise plateau!