Overcoming Fitness Plateaus
Stuck in a rut? Are you ready to throw your scale away? Bored with your exercise routine? Can’t lose the last ten pounds? Don’t lose hope – I’ve got ten tips & tricks that will get your body revving and help you get over and past your plateaus.
1.Deconstruct & Reconstruct – one of the first things one should do when stuck in an exercise rut, is change things up. Doing the same exercise routine every day is boring and not effective. To maximize your level of motivation and the overall effectiveness of your workouts, break down what you are presently doing – e.g.
- If you are doing forty – five minutes on the elliptical machine, consider using the interval mode, varying the speed and intensity for a much more effective and calorie burning workout
- Speed intervals on the treadmill are also an effective way to burn calories and challenge you. Try thirty – second intervals – start off at a speed 1 mph faster than your usual speed. Alternate between the maximum speed and your comfortable speed. Repeat the interval three or four times
- Don’t be afraid of the rowing machine! Really challenge yourself with 250 meter sprints. This is my favorite full body cardio workout, but make sure to be properly instructed on form and technique to maximize effectiveness and minimize the chance of injury. I would recommend starting with one 250 meter sprint and increasing the repetitions in one to two weeks
- Versa Climber – this is another one of the less frequently used full – body cardio machines. Don’t be frightened – a little bit goes a long way! Begin with a two – three minute sprint – try to average 100 feet per minute. As you get more proficient, increase the duration and then the speed
- Gauntlet – the machine that looks like an escalator on steroids! I have found incorporating two – four – minute intervals at level 10 or higher, with a side step (facing the side of the machine step your bottom foot over your top) for one – minute and repeat on the other side.
- Express Workout® – don’t have access to a gym or these cardio machines? Try a four to five intense circuit to get your body revving and the fat melting. The key is to pick four exercises that compliment one another and engage the entire body – Sumo Lunges, Burpees with Spiderman Pushups, Single Leg Dead – lifts, Plank with Dumbbell Row to Triceps Extension. Do fifteen repetitions of each exercise, without respite.
2. Find a workout partner or trainer – I always find I get more effective, motivating workouts when I partner up with someone for a challenging workout. If you already have a trainer or workout partner and you feel like you’re in a rut, don’t be afraid to express yourself. Articulate your goals and frustrations and collectively work on a regimen that will help you reach them. A word to the wise – if you’ve gotten too chatty with your trainer or workout partner, then it’s time for a “heart to heart”. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to find a new trainer/workout partner.
3. Is your Diet Sabotaging your hard work in the gym? A few days ago, I was stopped by one of the workers at the building I live in. “David, I need your help! I can’t lose the last twenty pounds!” Upon speaking with him, it turns out he was living on salads and not doing enough exercise. He was starving his body – slowing his metabolism down to a screeching halt – and barely moving his body. I counseled him to bump up the healthy calories – vegetables, clean proteins, grains and some fruit. Additionally, I told him he had get off of his butt and work up a good sweat. Seems simple enough – no? Well, he’s feeling better already! He, like many others out there trying to lose weight, thought that by severely restricting his calories, he would continue to lose weight. Quite the converse is true. You need to FUEL & SWEAT to lose!