By Sarah Gainariu
Kadac Customer Care Representative, Nutritionist & Exercise Scientist
AFTER MONTHS OF EXERCISE PUSHING TO ACHIEVE OR MAINTAIN YOUR FITNESS GOALS, ARE YOU BEGINNING TO LOSE STRENGTH AND MOTIVATION?
Not progressing in your workouts or failing to reach your goals? This sounds like a plateau period. A plateau is when our body becomes accustomed to the stresses we place upon it through training - whether it be weight training, running, swimming, cycling etc. You may be experiencing a plateau as a result of reasons, such as a lack of modification to your current training program, not listening to your bodies feedback, over indulging in highly refined foods or taking shortcuts on your diet.
PUSH THROUGH A PLATEAU
The best way to bust through a plateau is by modifying your routine. Here are some easy ways to help you push through.
Modify your exercise routine regularly
By modifying your exercise routine, it forces your mind and body to adapt to a new stimulus; it’s a fresh start and allows you to improve your fitness to a higher level.
Examples of modification exercises include:
- At the gym: Use free weights instead of machines, wide or shorten your squat stance and increase or decrease rep range.
- Interval training: 30 seconds running at a fast pace then walk for 2 minutes at a normal pace. Repeat this sequence 5 times.
- All exercises: Change to morning, afternoon or evening workouts.
KEEP WORKOUTS FRESH
To break through a plateau, why not incorporate yoga, pilates, swimming or cycling into your daily routine? Yoga and pilates are great for improving core muscle, strength and flexibility. When paired with weight training, it can assist with muscle recovery rate.
Here are some handy tips you can implement daily:
- Park further away from your workplace
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or lifts
- Try to incorporate standing or walking meetings
- During your scheduled break, go for a walk around the block
- Request a stand-up desk or upright chair
MAINTENANCE AND RECOVERY
At least every hour, whilst standing, repeat the following stretches to activate blood flow throughout your body and relieve muscle aches and pains.
• Inhale, lift your arms above your head and reach for the roof, then slowly exhale as you lower your arms to your side. Repeat once
• Place your arms on the front of your thighs, inhale and slowly slide them down till you can touch your toes, whilst slowly exhaling. If you’re not very flexible, try to reach as far down as you can and hold this stretch for 5 seconds, then stand up. Repeat once.
• Place your arms to your side, inhale and slowly slide down till you touch the outer side of your knee, whilst slowly exhaling (hold for 5 seconds) and slide back up. Repeat on the other side. Repeat each side once more.
• Place your arms on your hips and rotate your hips in a figure 8 for 5 repetitions and repeat in reverse.
• Inhale, tilt your head to one side and slowly exhale (hold for 5 seconds) and lift your head back upright. Repeat on the other side, tilt your head backwards and forwards too.
SCHEDULE REST DAYS
Schedule 1 week off training every 6-8 weeks. This gives your mind, joints and muscles a break to repair and time to relax your overworked nervous system. Why not treat yourself to a full body massage or soak your muscles in a warm bath filled with epsom salts to speed up recovery time.
5 MINUTE WORKOUT PLAN
Legs: Stand against a wall and squat down as though you’re sitting on a chair. Hold this position for as long as you can.
Repeat x 3
Core: Sitting upright, draw your belly towards your spine and hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat x 3
Arms: Facing away from your desk or a stable chair, place your arms on the edge and dip down and back up.
Repeat 10 repititions x 3