Welcome to another one of our fitness nutrition articles!
You may have already seen or even heard of the dreadful weight-loss plateau that may occur when your weight-loss progress becomes constant even though your new diet habits haven’t changed.
The same phenomenon can occur with exercise; whether you are trying to build muscle, strength or definition; or boost aerobic endurance, or power; or you can reach a point where you stop seeing progress or benefits, especially if you do the same workout routine on a day to day basis.
The body has an amazing capacity to adapt. Although, when the body is busy with the same type of training intensity time after time, you will see some loss in response to that stimulus because the body has become so accustomed to that intensity. In that case, you are no longer receiving the benefits as you were previously!
Fitness plateaus have to do with the overload, adapting and progressive principles of exercise.
When your body is tested with a workout or exericise work load, such as lifting heavy weight or running fast speeds, beyond the current capability, your musculoskeletal or cardiovascular system is taken to higher levels that they were accustomed to. Adaptation is the physiological product of that. To experience consecutive fitness improvements once your body adapts and gets accustomed to, you’ll need to create improvement of the load or intensity of your workouts; otherwise, your fitness benefits can and most likely will halt.
The Perks of Periodized Training (Periodization)
Prevent a plateau from occuring or to start your fitness benefits back up after one has occurred; it’s good to start your own periodized training also known as periodization. Which means you will be changing the exercise program at regular intervals or sets to keep your body properly improving!
Think of periodization as a simple way to shock your body into a more fit stage; which you can do with both strength training and cardiovascular workout programs.
There is an 8-12 week period of time which your body will adapt to what it is you are doing; after that, there is a point of diminishing returns, and it is time to alter what it is you have been doing.
Rearrange Order of Workouts
Rearrange Order of Workouts; or as I like to call it, “ROW.”
- If you are a weight lifter: You could simply go with the repetition range of 15-20 one day than change it up to 4-6 reps a set of heavy weights another day
- If you are a runner: You could simply alternate comfortable runs on flat terrain with other runs that incorporate elevation and speed work
- With cardiovascular activities: You simply could change your steady state aerobic exercises with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves high-intensity exercise intervals with periods of lower-intensity intervals.
When you are rearranging these orders of operations; you are in turn changing the stress your body has to adapt to.
Remember that fitness plateaus also can happen if you get into a psychological hole, where you are simply bored with your workouts or you develop a state of mental contentness in which you stop driving yourself with your workouts.
If you simply just put your body into autopilot and do not push your body hard and as you need for your goals and aspirations you will not receive the fitness benefits that you are looking for and deserve!
If you end up in the category of “Psychological Fitness Plateau,” you may want to consider finding a training partner to keep the morale and activity to the maximum you can!
Other Causes of Fitness Plateaus
Some other causes of fitness plateaus nobody really understands or talks about would be:
- Not getting enough quality sleep
- Under an excessive amount of stress
Remember if you start to lack quality sleep your body will not be repairing itself and maintaining proper standards or let alone any muscle growth! So don’t lose sleep if you are looking to build muscle! It is a vital component to your body!
Sleep = heal.
If you are under an intense amount of stress look into lowering your workout time and lower intensities so that your body isn’t over worked and has more an ability to repair and heal until you are out of the stage of intense stress!
If you are in a plateau and are still hitting your workouts heaviily and are unaware of or don’t understand why you are not improving or growing; you are simply overtraining your body. If you overtrain your body it doesn’t have the adequate time or nutrients in order for your body to repair and recover what you have already worked into your body. Leaving you in your plateau.
One Step Closer to Muscle Growth
If you have made it this far you are one step closer to muscle growth and on the way out of that horrendous fitness plateau!
Don’t give up now, keep on pushing yourself in ways you are not used to and you will inevitably see improvement!
Thank You for Reading!
Once again thank you for reading my content and I hope that if anything that I have bestowed upon you, the reader, as well as the audience with information, knowledge and wisdom to better yourself and even others if you so feel and see fit!
Until next time,
Joshua – CPT, CSN, Online Entrepreneur