Break Through A Training Plateau

Try these three steps when your progress has stalled and your motivation is flagging.

If you find yourself bored by your regular fitness routine or not achieving the results you want, you may be stuck at a training plateau. You may have found that your weight loss has slowed or your fitness gains have stalled. You haven’t reached your limit – you’ve landed on a plateau. But you needn’t worry that you’re stuck! With these three steps, you can keep on growing stronger and healthier.

After a few days away, your enthusiasm for exercise may be renewed.

Yes, you read that right: Take a break! Sometimes, a training plateau may be a sign you need a break from the gym, pounding the pavement or regular exercise routine. Over-training without adequate time for rest can lead to increased fatigue, irritability, declined performance, inability to lose weight. You may even gain weight from increased cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body that leads to fat storage. If you feel your training has stalled, take a few days or even a week off from your usual routine. Use that time to relax, get out in nature, eat well and re-evaluate your goals. You may find after a few days away, your enthusiasm for exercise is renewed.

Running everyday? Doing the same strength training routine for a year? Watching your gym’s TV while using the elliptical machine? Regain your focus by changing up your exercise routine. If you run everyday, try a spin class or hit the pool for a session of swimming laps. If you can, sign up with a personal trainer for a gym session to give you new exercise ideas. Don’t let your fitness program become so habitual that you zone out while doing it. Focusing on what you’re doing will help you achieve effective results.

Goals keep you motivated, help you measure progress and stay committed to an exercise routine. Consider signing up for a 5k or 10k race and ask your friends to join you. Whatever the goal, celebrate when you reach it. Then set a new goal.

How do you stay motivated and getting fitter and healthier? Share your experiences in Comments so we can all learn from each other.


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