The following are some of the reasons why you may have a plateau in your training:
You don’t want to train too hard You feel tired all the time You think you’re not strong enough You’ve reached your maximum potential Your goals aren’t big enough or challenging Enough rest between workouts Too much stress on yourself from other things in life
These are just some of the reasons why you might have a plateau. However, there are many ways to overcome it.
1) You Don’t Want To Train Too Hard
If you don’t want to train too hard, then you need to change something about your routine. If you do not like working out at all, then you need to take a break from it. If you still don’t like working out but want to increase your physical activity level, then here’s what I suggest:
Start doing interval training. Interval training involves alternating periods of high intensity work with lower intensities. For example, if you start running intervals, you’ll run for a set period of time (say 5 minutes), and after that period of time, you will stop running and rest for a set amount of time (say 10 minutes). After resting, you will resume running again.
This type of exercise helps burn fat while increasing your cardiovascular endurance. If you are more adventurous, you can start playing a sport. I only suggest this is you already enjoy playing this particular sport or have a friend who will be playing on the team with you. The advantage of this type of exercise is the fact that you are having fun while burning fat and improving muscle endurance.
2) You Feel Tired All The Time
If you are constantly feeling tired or lethargic, then increasing your activity level should help you combat that. If you are already doing interval training or playing a sport, then start taking a more active role in those activities. For example, if you are playing a sport, start substituting for other players more often or join in during scrimmages. If you are already doing interval training, then you can try participating in an athletic event.
For example, run a 5k (or even a 10k or a half-marathon if you’re really ambitious).
If you are already doing these activities, then try to take a more active role in them. Get more involved in your sport by becoming a team captain or something along those lines (by showing leadership and an example). Start taking initiative in your interval training by changing the pace or the routine.
3) You Think You’re Not Strong Enough
If you think you’re not strong enough, then you need to challenge yourself more. Start lifting heavier weights in your workouts. Don’t just stick with your regular routine; that can become quite boring and you won’t see as much benefit. Combine the following tips to create your own strength-enhancing routine:
Add variety to your routine. Do your normal routine, then switch it up the next time you work out. To keep yourself from getting bored, try changing the sets, reps, rest time, etc. Find a workout partner.
You’ll be more likely to work out if you know somebody is waiting for you at the gym.
Don’t have a partner?
Switch up your routine by taking a different class or working out with a friend.
Scared of going to the gym or working out alone?
Find an MMA or boxing club and spar with a trainer. The role of a trainer is to push you past your comfort zone, and they get paid to do it!
4) You Don’t Have The Money
Many people are strapped for cash, so I understand if this is your situation. Good news: you can get by with free workouts at home. Check out this article for a list of different types of workouts you can do with no (or very little) equipment.
If you need to buy a few things, you can try yard sales, craigslist, or even ebay (just ensure the condition of the products). As for the home exercises, you can get away with little to no equipment.
I f you have the money though, it would be much easier to buy a gym membership. You can start small with a local gym and work your way up from there.
5) You Don’t Have Time
If you don’t have time to work out, then you definitely don’t have time to be reading this! Just kidding…but not really! Working out doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. If you are really pressed for time, try doing some interval training on an exercise bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine at the gym.
If you can afford a gym membership, I suggest getting one because these types of exercises require little time and can produce great results.
6) You Lack Confidence
If you lack confidence, then you need to build it. The way to do this is through challenging yourself and conquering your fears. Try some of the following things:
Take anaerobic classes at the gym, such as boot camp. These will increase your endurance and strength, while building your confidence. Try doing something you’ve never done before. For example, if you are afraid of heights, go sky diving.
If you are afraid of public speaking, give a presentation at work (but don’t get fired because of it). Take up a new sport or activity that pushes your limits. This will build strength, endurance, and confidence.
Don’t let fears and insecurities control you, control them. Confidence is attractive, and it will make you feel better overall.
A side note: If you have tried everything listed above but still do not see any changes or improvements, you may want to see a doctor to rule out any medical reasons causing your lack of motivation or stamina.
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout
Once you have your mind right and you’re ready to start working out, here are some simple tips that can help you get the most out of your gym time.
Warm Up Properly – If you want to prevent injuries and ensure that your muscles are warm and ready for action, take the time to properly warm up. This should involve light cardio and a few lighter sets on the machine you are going to be using, like the bench press for example.
Go Heavy – When you do begin to lift, ensure that you are challenging yourself. For most people, this means lifting heavy weights at a low number of repetitions. Try to push yourself every week and increase the weight or the number of reps you do. If you are not challenged, then you are not gaining.
Rest Properly – Along the same lines as warming up, you need to rest properly after your workout as well. This means not doing anything else other than light cardio for that day and certainly no more lifting. Your muscles need time to repair themselves and grow stronger.
Buy Good Shoes – Some people spend hundreds of dollars on supplements or other pieces of equipment they see on TV. But one of the best things you can do is buy a good pair of sneakers. You will be using them often, so they should be comfortable and durable.
Supplements – Whether you take them or not is completely up to you, but there are some out there that claim to help you gain muscle or lose fat. I suggest that you do your own research and decide for yourself if they are worth it. Just be careful because some of these products can have negative side effects with other things you may be taking, or they could just flat out not work.
Proper Nutrition – This one is a given, but you are not going to see noticeable changes in the gym if you are eating junk food. You need nutritious foods and plenty of them. Check out other parts of this blog for recommendations.
Recovery – Some people will tell you that lifting weights is enough to improve your physique, but they are wrong. You body needs time to recover and if you do not take that into consideration, you will never get the results you are looking for. A good rule of thumb is to allow 1 day in between weight lifting and cardio, and at least 2 days of rest in between weight lifting sessions.
Goals – Last but not least, setting goals for yourself is a great way to keep motivated. Whether it is something small like adding 5 more pounds to your bench press, or something big like competing in a fitness competition, putting a goal out there will keep you moving forward and stop you from getting complacent.
Once you have these down, all that’s left is to put in the hard work.
You got this.
Sources & references used in this article:
Overcoming job burnout: How to renew enthusiasm for work by BA Potter – 2009 – books.google.com
Understanding athlete burnout: coach perspectives. by TD Raedeke, K Lunney… – Journal of Sport …, 2002 – search.ebscohost.com
Avoiding burnout: the succession planning, governance and resourcing of rural tourism festivals by W Frost, J Laing – Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2015 – Taylor & Francis