Joining a gym or health club is one of the healthiest things a person can do. It takes time, dedication, and no small amounts of sweat and hard work. Soon enough, however, most people begin to see results. Even if it happens slowly at first, those with a constant routine of exercising will find themselves losing weight, building muscle, as well as looking and feeling better. This is what drives many to continue what they’re doing and not rest on their laurels.
That said, there is a well-known aspect of working out that most, if not all, people at the gym have had experience with. They may not know it, recognize it, or even be able to understand what’s happening, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t occurring. It might happen after a month, it might happen after six months, but make no mistake: it will happen. It could be the kind of thing that leads to a person leaving the gym altogether after growing frustrated.
Regardless of the exercises being performed, everybody hits a plateau at some point. It doesn’t mean they’re not working hard enough, or often enough, it just means their body has grown accustomed to the fitness routines. It’s not a bad thing, it just is. Fear not, however, there are plenty of ways to work through a plateau, continue exercising, and see results quickly.
Talk to a trainer.
Most gyms have trainers who offer hourly sessions. If you are looking for advice, tips, or a nudge in the right direction, this is the way to go. They are valuable sources of information, and will also be able to assist with correct exercise form and nutrition tips. Many are even willing to answer a few simple questions without charging you for a full session. If you see them alone and not with a client, feel free to ask how to break through your plateau. One suggestion they’ll have is that you…
…Create new fitness goals.
For a moment, let’s use the example of somebody who went to the gym in an attempt to better their all around health and fitness. After the first few weeks of difficulty, they find it easier to run a few miles or lift weights without trouble. Before long, they begin to realize they can’t lift anymore or finish a mile any quicker. They’re stuck. If this is you, the best thing to do is to change your goals to challenge yourself. You’ve maxed out at benching 125 pounds? Make it your goal to bench 175 pounds within six weeks. Making new goals for yourself means you’ll strive to work harder. To hit that goal, make sure you…
…Change your routine.
If you’ve plateaued and plan on challenging yourself with new goals, a change of routine will help you be successful. Even if you haven’t set new goals for yourself, a change in routine can help you feel stronger and fitter, as well as make you look better. For example, if you’ve built a daily routine of a low number of reps of heavy weights, try reversing the formula. Try lifting ultralight weights and high numbers of reps. Sure, you may be strong enough to bench 200 pounds five times, but can you bench 75 pounds for 40 reps? Or do 50 curls of only 20 pounds? Prepare to be unbelievably sore, even if you’ve spent years at the gym.
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