This is something almost everyone following a fitness routine might have heard or come across at some point in their fitness journey. A plateau in fitness terms is a point where you’re stuck at a certain weight for a longer period of time than expected. It’s something that’s very common and happens to almost everyone who goes through a weight loss journey.
The most obvious sign of a plateau is the inability to progress towards your goal, be it weight loss, muscle gain or strength gain. In this blog we’re going to be talking about ways that we can overcome a weight loss plateau.
Change Your Exercise Routine
Over time your body may get used to the exercises or the movements you do. At this point what may work is changing it up, switching maybe one or two movements for two variations in your regular routine. These changes could shock your muscles and further promote muscle growth. What happens here is we’re “tricking” or “confusing” the muscles on a regular basis in order for them to get stronger and continue burning fat and calories. If you find yourself at a plateau, changing your routine every 4 – 6 weeks is a great way to ensure progress.
Duration Of Your Workout
Some studies have shown that the growth assisting hormones the body releases peak within 30 minutes of exercise and decline shortly after. The point of weight training is to stimulate muscle growth. However, overtraining your muscles can damage them, leading to muscle breakdown thereby causing more harm than good. The most optimal duration of time to train is an hour to an hour and a half at a maximum.
Revisit Your Diet
If you’re at a plateau, be it weight loss, muscle gain or strength gain one of the first things you should do is revisit your diet. Firstly, calculate your calories and observe to see if you’re at maintenance. If you realize that you’re at maintenance, try increasing your activity levels especially your NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Once you do this again observe your weight loss pattern and if your weight started dropping well and good. If not, you’ll have to reduce your calorie intake by 250 – 300 calories to start off with.
These are three simple things you can do when you’re at a plateau. Also, keep in mind that the more weight you lose, the harder it is to lose more and the same applies for muscle gain or strength gain. The rate of weight loss, muscle gain or strength gain does slow down over time, it’s only natural. So, when this happens there’s no reason to worry. Just be patient, follow these steps and you’re sure to break your plateau at one point or the other.