May 29, 2024

Ask a Pro by Tera Busker

Question: What exactly is a fitness-plateau and what’s the best way to get off a fitness plateau? –Dan, Baltimore.

Answer: A fitness plateau happens when your body no longer continues to progress. It is a stall you experience in your weight loss, endurance or strength goal. A plateau can be very frustrating! It is more or less a way of your body saying “I’m bored with this routine.”

The best way to “jump” off a fitness plateau is to shake things up! It’s time to take your workouts to the next level. It’s time to try a new style of strength training or cardiovascular exercise, as well as to review your food intake.

To shake up your strength training routine: try circuit training during which you move from one exercise to the next without rest, or by adding in cardio intervals in between each strength training set. Using tabatas is also an effective method to jump start results again. Consider working in some heavy lifting to your routine. Also consider trying different body splits into your strength routine, for example upper body/lower body or working muscles according to their function, for example push/pull.

To freshen up your cardio: Try doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or schedule one new fitness class each week like spin or dance class. Learning a new sport is also a great way to get off a fitness plateau. In addition to learning a new sport skill-set, you’ll meet new training partners. Doing so, allows you to feed off others energy and push yourself harder than you would when working out alone.

Don’t forget about your diet! Fitness is only one part of being healthy. To continue to make strides towards your goals, make sure your nutrition isn’t stalling as well. Eating the same thing everyday slows your metabolism and can also keep you from progressing. Try a recipe exchange with friends, host a cooking party to exchange meal ideas or sign up for a cooking class at your local community center. Go to your local farmers market to find foods that are “in season” and choose produce from all colors of the rainbow.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI.

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