By Athlete's Care on December 05, 2022
When—or before—they start out, many people assume that fitness is a kind of straightforward path leading to a specific place. In reality, as all fitness and sports medicine professionals know, fitness and conditioning are lifelong pursuits.
And, the path can have its ups and downs.
Many people are frustrated by what are called fitness or workout plateaus. When you begin, you'll start to feel improvements in endurance or muscle building, according to what you are targeting.
Then, at a certain point, your gains seem to end. What gives?
First, what you need to remember is: a plateau means you've made solid progress. It may feel frustrating, but it's a sign your body has made positive changes.
The problem is the key to your solution.
Most of the time, training plateaus are caused by the fact you are using the same workout routine over an extended period of time. Over-training may also be at work, meaning that you aren't giving your body enough recovery time between workouts to rebuild muscle and increase capacity.
In short: change it up. Keep the challenge in your workouts by switching up your routine.
Add something new. The same activities use the same muscles. Trying something new, or simply adding a new type of exercise to an existing routine, can help.
There are simple ways to increase the intensity of your workouts:
When bodybuilding, alternating more intense workouts with less intense regimens can help. Sometimes, just rearranging your reps can do the job. If you've been doing five sets of four, try eight sets of three instead.
Get professional help; the advice of a professional trainer can be invaluable in helping you achieve your fitness goals, as well as adapting to plateaus along the way. Your Toronto physiotherapist and other sports medicine specialists can provide advice about the right kinds of exercises for your fitness level and condition.
Allowing your body enough time to rest and recover between workouts is essential. That's when muscle tissue is repaired and rebuilt. If you don't allow yourself enough time, you'll continue to tear down without letting your body build itself back up—stronger.
Fitness has mental as well as physical dimensions.
Remember, too, that your results are highly individual, and that what works for you won't necessarily work for the next person, and vice versa.
If you design your workouts with variables and change built into the program, you may never reach another plateau.
If you have any questions or issues with your sports or workout regimen, our Toronto sports medicine specialists are ready with answers and advice. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto physiotherapy, chiropractic and sports medicine clinics for a consultation.