Blast through your exercise plateau

18 April 2014 by
First published: 23 April 2014

Reached a rut in your weight loss goals? Exercise smart to Blast through your exercise plateau

If your fitness regime initially brought you some great results but have recently started to slow down – or worse, stopped altogether – then you may have reached a plateau. Don’t worry, though, this is perfectly normal and is simply an indication that your body has adapted, gotten stronger (yay!) and become a little used to the way you’ve been working out. All you have to do is shake things up a bit, and you’ll be back on the road to your goals before you know it. Here’s how:

1. Switch up your cardio
Running, cycling, swimming, dancing, kickboxing… they’re all great forms of cardio, but if you’ve been dedicating too much time to just one, it might be time to try something new. If you’re training for an event and can’t change your cardio discipline, try swapping just one session per week to rev up your system, or add some interval sprints to the workout to shock your body.

2. Get jumping
If your regular weights routine isn’t cutting it anymore, try a plyometric version of your workout. Turn squats into jumping squats, lunges into jumping lunges and press-ups into clap press-ups – even if it means trying harder variations for less reps. You’ll work a different kind of muscle fibre and also throw in a little cardio. Score!

3. Change the tempo
A neat little trick for igniting the fire back into your weights routine is to have a play with tempo. Try really slowing down the time it takes to lower the weights in each of the moves you do. So, with a biceps curl, lift the weights up as normal and take 5 seconds to lower. This is tough, so start with a lower weight than normal.

4. Update your moves
It might just be a case of your body getting used to the moves you normally do, which is why you should change the moves you do every 4-6 weeks. Swap them for moves that work similar muscle groups – so try kettlebell swings instead of deadlifts, press-ups instead of bench presses and split squats instead of lunges.

5. Time out
Finally, your body might just be screaming, ‘give me a break!’ Often we hammer our workout schedules confusing training hard for training smart. Your body needs regular rests in order to grow new muscle and recover from the hard work you put it through. Take a week off and don’t feel guilty.