Hitting a plateau is not easy on the mind, or the body. While leading a healthy fitness lifestyle bears numerous lifelong health benefits and is rewarding in its own right, the body can quickly grow accustomed to the monotony of training, and become resilient to the stimuli you persistently provide.
The time has come to up your fitness game in search of new challenges and in order to conquer new goals. Fortunately, a plateau doesn’t mean that you have reached your genetic potential, it simply means that you need to spruce up your fitness routine by introducing some new ingredients into the mix. Here is how you can quickly get back on track and reach your fitness goals.
Drink more water
The simplest elements of healthy living should be apparent to everyone, yet only few succeed in adhering to the basic principles of health and fitness. You might be under the impression that you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day, yet the truth might be quite different.
Given the fact that you’re an athlete and not a sedentary individual, your hydration requirements far exceed the norms of people who do not exercise. According to research in sports science, as conveyed by T-nation, athletes in different weight classes need to drink plenty of water, with a 200lbs athlete requiring at least 4 liters of water a day, and a 150lbs athlete requiring at least 2 liters. Be sure to up your water intake and you will experience a rise in physical readiness and strength in no time.
Implement progressive overload
Your brain is designed to keep you alive, no matter the cost. In this case, the brain signals your body to grow, become stronger, faster and leaner in order to meet the level of physical stress you are subjecting it to on a daily basis. This means that if you maintain the same workout intensity, you are going to plateau and can even start losing muscle mass and physical endurance.
Progressive overload is your number one priority when trying to elevate your performance. You can increase the weight, decrease your rest times, increase the number of sets and reps, or do anything else that will challenge your body. This methodology is applicable to any sport, so if you’re an avid runner, you want to pick up the pace, incorporate sprinting and jumping and decrease your track time.
Wear proper fitness clothes
When it comes to fitness, clothes are not just a fashion statement, they also serve a direct purpose of elevating your performance. Not only is it imperative to wear dry-fit clothes, such as compression shirts, breathable gym shorts for men and elastic leggings for women, but it is also important to wear proper footwear and accessories.
If you have been squatting in sneakers or if you have been running in All-Stars, it is time to switch over to proper weightlifting shoes or proper running shoes. What’s more, try introducing protective gear to help you push and break your limits by wearing knee sleeves, wrist wraps and a weightlifting belt.
Don’t skip conditioning
No matter what anyone tells you, cardio is an important part of any fitness routine. Not only does it help you burn fat, but it also elevates your cardiovascular endurance. However, monotonous cardio regimes can become tedious and your body can get used to them, and that is why you should spruce up your routine with explosive movements such as MMA training and conditioning circuits.
A steady cardio is a thing of the past, unless used for the purposes of active recovery (which we will address in a minute) and you can easily elevate your performance by introducing fast-paced, explosive movements such as burpees, bear crawls, medicine ball throws and many more.
Rest and recover
Finally, no workout regime can be effective without a solid recovery plan. Constant physical stress, no matter how healthy, can have adverse effects on your mind and body, preventing you from reaching your goals.
Be sure to exercise active recovery, meaning that you should do light cardio on your off days, or go for walks and simply spend your time being active instead of lounging on the couch. Additionally, if you want your nervous system to recover and become stronger, you need to maintain healthy sleeping cycles throughout the week.
It is not always easy staying at the top of your fitness game, especially considering the hectic nature of the modern lifestyle. Fortunately, you can easily improve your fitness routine by following these five simple steps, and pave the road to lifelong health and wellbeing.