Plateau, when you stop seeing progress, is very common when people train in the gym. When our bodies get used to a particular routine, progress will naturally slow down. But, there are plenty of things you can do to get over this and see your progress again!
Change Up Your Diet
The first thing you can do if you’re experiencing plateau is to change up your diet. You need to be fuelling your body properly in order to see progress and changing your diet can be completely transformative to your fitness. So, start by upping your protein intake to around one gram of protein for every pound you weigh. An example is if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be eating 140g of protein!
You also need to make sure you’re eating enough carbs, as this gives your body the energy it needs to run faster or lift heavier, so they should definitely be an important part of your diet.
The time of day you are eating also has an impact on your fitness. If you train first thing in the morning and don’t usually eat before, try to make time to fit in a bowl of porridge or some peanut butter toast before. If you train in the evening, have a high carb snack about an hour before you train.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to nutritionally balanced foods that will give your body the energy it needs to make progress, try prepared meal delivery! This is a great way to learn about what you should be fuelling your body with and it saves so much time.
Next up, you might need to change your exercises. If the exact same muscles are being used every week, even if you increase the weight, progress may slow down. So, you should create a new routine every 6 weeks. You are likely to keep core exercises, for example leg press and hip thrusts on leg day or chest press on chest day, but you should mix up your other exercises. Swap out your normal squats for sumo squats. Change your Bulgarian split squats for walking squats with a barbell. Rather than using the treadmill, go on the stair climber.
When you incorporate new exercises, you will shock muscles and your progress should be more noticeable!
Consider Other Aspects of Fitness
Our next tip is to consider other aspects of fitness. All areas of fitness tie in together, for example if you have strong legs through weight lifting you’re likely to have good endurance when running. Someone who is a regular rower will have strong back muscles that would make weight lifting easier. Someone who does regular gym classes will have good cardiovascular endurance for running.
So, rather than just thinking about your fitness in a one dimensional way, like I want to build muscle or be able to run faster, you should think about how you can benefit your goals by supplementing with other types of fitness. Incorporate some weight lifting if you don’t already, or swimming for something different. You’d be surprised at the difference it can make to your goals!
Add an Extra Rest Day
Our last tip is to add an extra rest day. If you are training really hard, you need to give your body some time to completely relax so when you are training, you get the most out of it.
If you find that you’re feeling tired going into the gym or achy, try adding one more rest day. You will give so much more in your other sessions and this might be just what you need to feel really motivated and ready to see results!