Life is full of peaks and valleys—and, occasionally, plateaus.
If you’ve noticed your workouts are feeling stagnant or you’ve stopped getting closer to your goals, you may be going through a fitness plateau. Don’t panic! Getting stuck in a workout rut is normal, and there are plenty of ways to get back on track.
Take a look at these plateau-busting strategies.
Reflect in Order to Refresh
One of the best ways to break through your fitness plateau (and to prevent you from hitting the wall in the future) is to figure out exactly what got you into this situation in the first place. Once you determine why you’ve stopped making progress, you can start making targeted changes.
Try asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I incorporating enough variety into my workouts?
- Am I pushing myself too hard?
- Am I going through a stressful time at work?
- How have my eating choices been lately?
- Do I have a support system to rely on?
It may even help to record your answers in a notebook or app on your phone. That way, you’ll more easily notice that you’ve been too stressed with work projects to really focus on fitness, or that your late-night snacking has been a little out of control.
Give Yourself the Gift of Motivation
Now that you’ve gotten to the root of your problem, it’s time to get out of it. It might be time for a little material motivation. Sometimes, all you need is a great new gadget or trendy piece of workout attire to get you back in the groove.
If you don’t know what to invest in, do a little research on the best running gifts for men or the best workout gear for women. You’ll be happy you gave yourself the gift of motivation (and the literal gift of new workout gear, too).
Dare to Do Something Different
Doing the same workout week after week is consistent but boring. That may be why your enthusiasm is dwindling—you just don’t care about your stupid ab circuit or the elliptical anymore!
Don’t let boredom be your downfall.
Shake up your workout routine and break through your fitness plateau by trying something new. Take a look at these great ideas to keep your fitness regimen fresh:
- If you usually work out alone, ask a friend to join you
- Find a different running route—something scenic, maybe
- Try out a new style of yoga (Bikram yoga, anyone?)
- Take a beginner-level class of anything—Zumba, CrossFit, ballet barre, basketball
Adding variety doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite workouts. You might find that by changing it up once or twice a week, you start to enjoy your old standbys even more.
Take a Break (Yes, You Read That Right)
Sometimes, the best way to overcome a workout plateau is to take a few days off from hitting the gym (or the pavement). Sticking to a workout routine can be mentally and physically draining, and it’s okay to give yourself a break when you need it.
The trick is to not let a temporary reset become a month-long hiatus, so remember to give yourself a concrete restart date (and stick to it). You might even get excited to return to the gym after a few days off—something about absence making the heart grow fonder?
Your mind and your muscles will thank you for listening to their needs, and your plateau will be a thing of the past.
We Hope You’re Ready to Get Back on Track
Nike was on to something when they said, Just Do It.
In order to overcome your fitness plateau, you need to get going—whether you run on a literal track or in the trails around your neighborhood. Now that you have a few useful strategies to get started, you’re ready to jump back in. We’ll see you at the gym!