Remember when you first started working out at FitClub and you saw increases in your fitness and decreases on the scale nearly every day? Now, after months of the same, consistent workout plan, you start to notice that you’ve hit a plateau and you don’t feel that you’re getting stronger or losing weight and inches. The good news is that your body has adapted to the fitness regimen you chose when you started exercising. The bad news is that adaptation means you’ve hit a plateau.
When you begin a consistent exercise regimen, the body’s systems adapt to accommodate the new workload. The cardiovascular system becomes more adept at moving oxygen and blood throughout the body and the muscles grow and strengthen to meet the new challenge. After weeks or months of the same time, movement, and resistance, though, the body has adapted and no longer receives the same benefit of the same work. Your body has met the challenge, and your muscles and cardiovascular system have grown bored with the plan.
When you stop seeing progress, it’s time to make a change.
- Amount of time. If you love your evening CycleFit class, you don’t have to break up with it just because your body has adapted to the workout. If you’ve been taking one CycleFit class each week, consider adding a second if your schedule permits. Even if you can only commit to one class each week, up the resistance or increase your speed. If you’ve found a comfortable resistance or speed, it may be time to get less comfortable and push yourself harder. The same principles hold true for whatever your favorite class or machine might be. If you’re a treadmill devotee, add speed, an incline, or additional minutes to your workout to push your body out of its new comfort zone.
- Add resistance or weight. Maybe you’ve been spending most of your FitClub time doing cardiovascular exercises and it’s time to find the free weights or resistance machines. Cardio is great for burning large amounts of calories, but adding muscle mass will challenge your body in a different way. Adding muscle mass allows your body to keep burning calories even after you’ve finished your workout. If you’re already lifting weights, but the amount of reps or the amount of weight you’ve been using has started to feel easy, try adding additional reps or weight to push your body. Your muscles need to be consistently challenged to keep strengthening.
- Get honest with yourself. Are you really working as hard as you can? Maybe when you first joined FitClub you were out of shape, but now that your body has gotten stronger and leaner, it can take more work. If you’re not sure whether you could be working harder or smarter, talk to a personal trainer at FitClub. Sometimes it can be a challenge to push ourselves, but the personal trainers may see potential in you that you don’t yet recognize.