If you’re losing steam in your fitness routine by the time January approaches, your body has most likely become trapped in a temporary plateau.
Average gym-goers notice results within the first few months of working out, simply continuing with the same routine without increasing difficulty and introducing variation into their exercises.
When this happens, the body eventually becomes accustomed to that inflexible exercise plan; even though you still find the workout difficult, the routine loses its effectiveness because your body isn’t really experiencing a challenge.
Exercise experts tout the benefits of alternating workouts in conjunction with varying caloric intake in order to prevent a period of stagnation, but just how often must one switch up routine in order to prevent homeostasis?
When we understand the nature of the plateau state, which technically allows for human survival and adaptation while mildly inconveniencing those involved in strength training, we can easily adjust workouts in order to avoid it. If you perform an identical program each day, or only alternate exercise infrequently, you are encouraging the eventual onset of stagnation.
Simply adjusting the number of sets and reps you perform while lifting may do the trick, although those who experience more difficulty breaking through a plateau may also need to start surprising their body by incorporating new movements and pacing into their cardio routine.
A well-rounded exercise leaves room for modification and variation, including aspects of dynamic movement as well as regulated routine, while paying attention to all major and minor muscles.
Trainers including Jillian Michaels encourage circuit training, which provides for varied movement that prevents the body from simply going through the motions and becoming too accustomed to the same tired routine day after day.
A short period of very stubborn determination will help you push past a plateau, allowing new growth while motivating you to complete more challenging gym sessions in the future.
Starting in the upcoming year, try breaking out of your normal routine by experimenting with longer workouts, more or less reps and sets (depending on your current plan), and heavier weights.
With the unexpected shock of new movements, you may find that your body surpasses your fitness goals with less effort than ever before.
Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay user skeeze.