It’s incredibly frustrating to hit a point where everything (including your workout progress), seems to stall, but plateaus — both physically and emotionally — are inevitable. To get yourself (and your workout progress), back on the upswing, we’ve rounded up 6 tips to maximize results and get you out of your workout rut.
Working out and not seeing results? Try this:
1. Amp up the intensity
Your body is amazing. It protects itself, regulates itself, and repairs itself (we produce 25 million new cells every second!), without instruction. It rapidly responds to physiological invaders, adjusts to altitude changes and acclimatizes to harsh temperatures and environmental conditions. Adaptation is key to survival and human evolution. However, adaptation might be the reason (or part of the reason), you’re not seeing results.
If you first begin weight training with a 5lb dumbbell you’ll realize after time, 5lbs feels a lot lighter than it did when you started. The weight hasn’t changed (it’s still 5lbs) but your muscles adapted to the workload which is why it feels lighter. They got bigger and you got stronger - a very good thing. But because of adaptation, if you stick with the same 5lbs (without changing anything), you’re probably not going to progress. Instead, when what you’re doing is no longer challenging, up the intensity.
Add distance to your run, increase the weight you’re using, up the amount of reps or move onto more advanced movements.
2. Cross Train
On a related note, it’s also incredibly beneficial to switch up your workouts if you think you’ve hit a plateau. When you do the same thing day after day, your body and muscles get accustomed. To avoid plateauing or to break out of a plateau, try switching up your exercise routine. If you weight train 2-3 times per week, add in a few yoga or swim sessions, if runnings your thing throw in a pilates or dance class. New exercises help shock your muscles and help you move past your plateau.
Over exercising is a real thing. When you're working your body so hard whether it’s in the gym, on the pavement or on the mat, it’s imperative to give yourself, and your muscles, time to rest. It’s post workout, during your resting period, that your muscles have a chance to heal, grow and repair.
And you don’t need to spend the day on the couch. Try incorporating an active rest day at least once a week. Ideas include: a light hike with your girl-gang, a restorative yoga class or a walk with your pup.
On the same note, make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. Experts say we should be clocking in between 7-9 hours per night (weekends included).
4. Be Consistent
This is without question the most important aspect of getting results. Doing a few workouts here and there is totally beneficial (every workout counts), but if you want to see physical changes (increased strength, stamina, etc.), you have to move on a consistent basis. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. You will feel so much better, guaranteed.
"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save and preserve it." -Plato
5. Act With Intention
The energy you put behind anything you do has a huge impact on the process and the results. In terms of diet and exercise, if you come from a place of “body-hate”, meaning you’re doing it because there’s something about your body you hate and want to change, you’ll have a very different experience than if you were to come from a place of body-love and acceptance.
If the whole diet and exercise thing doesn’t seem to be working, get honest about your intention behind it. Does it stem from a place of self-improvement or, from a place of self-critique? They’re VERY different.
When you learn to love the body you have right now exercise becomes a much different (and more enjoyable) experience.
6. Find a workout you love
This also makes exercise a much more enjoyable (and less work-eque) experience. When you find an activity or workout you actually enjoy doing, it becomes a self-renewing compulsion. It gives you energy, it lifts your spirits, it changes your life in incredible ways so find a workout you love to do. We promise, if you haven’t found it yet, it’s out there, keep looking. Ideas include: Weight lifting, yoga, dancing, pilates, rock climbing, boxing, swimming, twerking, bike riding, etc.
And one more thing: Always consult a physician before embarking on any workout regime and consult a trainer / instructor to learn proper form.
Erika & Jess
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