By: Rhys Geske, Personal Trainer
What is your “Why”?
Are you much too comfortable in your routine? Are you not reaching the goals you once set out to get? Have you hit the wall and plateaued? If this is you, I have some advice and strategies that have helped both clients and myself.
When you enter the gym, have you misplaced your “why”? Ask yourself where you are in your fitness journey. It should be just that, “a journey”. Health and fitness is not just seasonal or monthly, its’s a life-long journey. Something as simple as reminding yourself why you’re walking into the gym. Getting into shape, or even just staying in shape can be very difficult. It can be time consuming, tiring, your muscles may get sore, and even eating healthy can be confusing, but if you know the reasons why you’re doing it, then you’re most likely to keep doing it.
Change is good.
How’s your training intensity? Are you really putting forth a high enough heart rate to get the results you’re seeking? Some training tactics I’d implore would be to check out some different fitness classes that you’re not used to. Mix things up a bit. Instead of always “zombie walking” to your favorite treadmill, make a quick turn to the step mill. That rowing machine isn’t all sunshine and rainbows either! Change your volume or the number of reps you normally get at the weights. Instead of doing cardio for a “x-amount” of time, change it to distance ran, floors climbed, or meters rowed. Most likely you’ll pick up the pace because you can see that finish line!
Exercise selection should be varied for lots of reasons. The body is incredible at adapting and gets used to the same old routine of weight training. A simple change of moving past the machines and getting into some free weights or cables. (Insert “Morgan Freeman’s” voice here / ad promotion to hire a trainer for instructions on programming and proper technique for free weights.)
Breaking a plateau can be done by shorter rest breaks in between sets. Again, that’s the training intensity I mentioned above. Get it out of your head that you need to do reps that are divisible by “5”! Instead of stopping at 15 reps, push yourself to do a few more. If you are always staying in that higher rep range, it might be time to increase your weight, even if it’s only by 5 or 10 pounds, even if that means doing less reps. I’d venture to guess you might see some increase in strength and muscle size.
To wrap this up, mix things up. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. There are many more ways to get you to your goals and break plateau’s. Stay the course and be patient. Try hiring a Personal Trainer to help with a new routine. With consistency in your training you will reap the rewards. Just perhaps remind yourself “why” from time-to-time.