So you’ve been training for a while and you have had some good results to date. You’re feeling stronger, moving better, maybe lost some excess kilograms, life is essentially better. You are officially in the exercise honeymoon period. As wonderful as this time is, it will always come to an end. Results will become far less frequent and progress will slow. The zest for getting out and training will dim and it will become more of a chore. This is a cycle that every exerciser will go through at one stage or another. Fear not though as there are a few highly successful ways to continue on your path without as many slow periods.
1. Progressive Overload
No matter your style of training, if you’re not increasing the load or intensity, your body will adapt to that level of effort and will no longer be forced to change to keep up. If you are regularly making your body work harder in small increments, it doesn’t have time to plateau as it’s always trying to improve so it can handle the rigours of your next workout.
2. Periodised Training
So many people give 110% everyday of every week for really long periods of time. While some people get away with it, most people will find they become lethargic and more often than not, injured. Putting timelines on your training can be highly effective. A simple example would be to train incredibly hard for 6 weeks then have 1 week of a lighter load. You don’t need to have an entire week of rest, just a week of lower intensity training.
3. Variation in Training
In the same way that progressively overloading your muscles works, varying what they are doing will shock your muscles and force them to try and adapt. It doesn’t have to be massive changes either. If you always run sprints of 100 metres, try lengthening them out to 150 metres for a while. Trick your body by changing things up regularly. If you always do the same thing you’ll never get a change.
Try any of these options if you feel you’ve hit a bit of a plateau and I’m sure they’ll go along way to getting you back in the direction you’re after.