Defining a plateau is a separate blog post in and of itself so let’s just assume that we both agree that you’ve hit a plateau. Now what?
When it comes to my fitness, I am always looking for a way to increase my productivity without using more time in my day. If you are anything like me, then you have a million other responsibilities and things that can make it impossible to get more gym time. This may lead to a plateau of sorts in which you feel that you cannot make any further progress. Here are three things that you can do.
Try a variety of workouts
When I plateau, it is usually because I have let myself get too comfortable. You don’t have to put in more time in order to get a better work out – you simply need to work out differently. Yes, the “work smarter not harder” line. Take the dive. The fact that you hit a plateau is the first indication that your body has become used to your workouts. You have effectively graduated from whatever level you have been on.
One of the best ways to mix it up is to utilize the old school. Grab some Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons – old workout tapes that are full of outdated fashions and songs. You will have a blast and forget all about the work that you are putting in! Or try mixing up your favorite workouts – do less weight with more reps, or vice versa or add in a slow 4-8 second count on your eccentric muscle contraction on your lifts or add in a “pulse” or a pause in the middle of your movement. Also, don’t be afraid to try something like new my fit2mass.com 12 week program, Crossfit, swimming, biking or hey even Zumba (don’t knock it until you try it). You’ll thank me later…hopefully.
Second, change up your day-to-day routine
Your body can become used to a routine just like it can become used to the level of workout. If you surprise your body by working out at a different time, then you can shock it into better results. For example, most people that have switched to a morning workout versus an afternoon workout have seen improved results, even though at first they are a bit more tired to begin with, their bodies do adjust.
If you already workout in the morning try doing some fasted cardio for 10-15 minutes on the days you normally don’t workout. Fasted cardio, in some studies, has shown to burn 20% more calories versus eating a meal before the cardio session.
Also, try going to sleep 30 minutes sooner than normal. We could all use more sleep right? Sleep is a key factor for a healthy lifestyle and in my opinion is just as important as diet and exercise. It’s tough to see the results you want and give your body adequate time to recover when you’re sleep deprived.
Adjust what you’re eating and drinking
Sometimes we get stuck in the same eating routine just like we do with the same lifting routine. We all get tired of chicken and broccoli right? So switch up your proteins often. For example, switch out the chicken for some grass fed beef, salmon (or fish of any kind), shrimp, eggs and even sardines…yes sardines! Do the same thing with your carbs and fats. Instead of rice and pasta, try sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Instead of peanut butter and olive oil, try coconut butter, or ghee!
We also believe that there are benefits to high quality proper supplementation. One of my favorite things to add in is Synergy supplements, which come in a variety of flavors and options to suit your needs. Both me and Lynn love them! I personally use their highly awarded L-arginine supplement that is the only l-arginine supplement to be found in the PDR (Physicians Disk Reference) as a safe supplement to help out with cardiovascular disease, but also has many other metabolic benefits in the gym. They also have delicious health shakes, fish oils, vitamin d3 and many other very high quality supplements all manufactured in an NSF Good Manufacturing Certified facility.