Maybe you’ve been following the same program for years, but all of a sudden you just stopped seeing results. Or maybe you just started a new workout class and your clothes started to fit better, so you increased the number of days a week you were going to the class, but then your body bounced back to its original state.
Whatever the case may be, the evidence is there: You’ve reached a workout plateau.
Why on earth would a workout that used to work out so well, all of a sudden stop working? There are a few answers to that question.
First, you may be over doing it. If you find something you like and then stick with it, your body may become fatigued. It’s kind of like eating too much broccoli — yes, there is such a thing, and yes, your digestive system may slow down so that it can process all of that healthy stuff. Too much of a good thing can create negative results.
If you're experiencing injuries or intense muscle strain, you might be over exercising — and taking a break might be a good idea. Try to avoid doing too much too fast. Listen to your body and intensify your workouts accordingly.
Another reason why your workout may have stopped working is because your body is just plain used to it. Your muscles know what to do, your metabolism knows what to expect in terms of calorie expenditure, and your brain even knows all of the moves and what’s coming next.
The first thing to do when you hit a workout plateau is to change it up. Switching the type of workout, changing the time of the workout and even changing the quality of the workout can work wonders on your body.
For example, if you’re used to doing a spinning class or a weight-lifting class, try something more gentle like yoga or Pilates. Or if you’re used to swimming, try boxing. If you normally walk on the treadmill, try bike riding outside.
Similarly, if you’re a morning workout person, change it up to the evenings. The bottom line is to keep your body guessing so that you can bust out of the plateau, speed up your metabolism, burn fat faster and feel (and see) the positive results of your workouts.
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