Ugh the exercise plateau. It’s so dreaded and yet so common. Have you ever felt like you’ve made so much progress so far in your fitness regimen but then all of a sudden you stop improving all together? Like you’re just stagnant. Like no matter how many times a week you work out or how healthy you eat, no change happens in your body.
Yep, that’s an exercise plateau. SO FRUSTRATING.
I recently had a few of you HH|HH babes reach out to me asking how to overcome such an exercise rut. And I get it, they seem to last FOREVER.
But honestly, moving past an exercise plateau might be easier than you think. Sometimes, the simplest thing can keep our progress stagnant.
1} Look at Your Eating Habits
Sometimes, the problem has nothing to do with exercise itself, but with the food you’re using to fuel your workouts. Frequently, women don’t have enough protein in their diet, or they aren’t eating enough food in general. When you don’t properly fuel your body with food, you can essentially starve the muscle while you’re working out! This means that you’re burning off the muscle you’ve worked so hard to build in the first place!
No thank you.
So yes, some women need to EAT MORE FOOD. There I said it. If you are a physically active person, you should be eating 1500-2000 calories a day. This depends on your level of activity and your weight and height. If you want help finding your specific calorie intake, contact me here and I can help you out!
But remember, it’s important that you don’t fill your body with empty calories. Try eating foods that are dense in nutrients and high in protein. I also suggest staying away from anything processed!
I am the QUEEN of sleeping so this is never an issue for me. Like I can fall asleep any time, anywhere. But I do know that with the business that is our lives, sleep can sometimes fall to the bottom of the priority list. Lack of sleep can be a direct cause to an exercise plateau. Muscle recovery and regeneration occur while you’re sleeping.
SO less sleep means less muscle recovery. See where I’m going with this?!
Slower muscle recovery means that you’ll experience soreness for longer periods of time and you’ll see progress at a much slower rate. HELLOOO exercise plateau. Noooot ideal.
It’s important to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. And a good night’s sleep always starts with a great night time routine! I always like to completely unplug from technology about 30-45 minutes before I get in bed. It makes it so much easier to fall asleep and I wake up more energized!
AND I’m giving my muscles time to recover.
GASP! There’s such thing as too much cardio?! Yes, there totally is. And it could be the reason you aren’t seeing any progress! Cardio is great, don’t get me wrong. I ALWAYS incorporate some type of cardio into my weekly workout schedule. But when you only focus on cardio (or, at least, focus on it more than weight training) you can actually burn off all the muscle you’ve worked so hard to put on.
And when you start to burn through muscle, your metabolism will slow down. AKA you’ll burn less calories overall. A slowed or stagnant metabolism can be a major cause of exercise plateau.
So try toning down the cardio and focusing on strength training. Try doing 3-4 days of strength training and 1-2 days of cardio. This will help you build long lasting muscle and overall boost your metabolism in the long run!
Women HATE when I say this. Their immediate thought is that they will get bulky. But you can refer to this post on why that’s not true (question #4!).
Basically, when you have been training consistently for a significant amount of time, it’s not surprise you’re going to get stronger. That’s kind of the point, right? The weights you were using on day one of your training regimen are more than likely going to get lighter and lighter as your fitness abilities improve.
So don’t be afraid to pick up a heavier weight next time you do a lunge or deadlift! Sometimes, an exercise plateau happen because you simply aren’t challenging yourself enough.
You’re body is going to get used to the workouts you do overtime. We are adaptable beings so the more we workout, the more our body will adjust. So it’s super important to mix it up.
In this case, it could mean using heavier weights. Or it could mean that it’s time to try another form of exercise. Don’t be afraid to change up your workout routine! And DON’T be afraid of heavy weights.
What ways have you pushed past an exercise plateau?
I love hearing your success stories! So let me know, babes!