In the fitness world, we tend to focus on progress … and rightfully so. Our goal as trainers and your goal as a client is to get from where you are now to where you want to be, and when that happens, of course you’re going to show it off (enter the Transformation photo!).
This is wonderful, but also creates the perception that progress is a straight line. That everyone is going from point A to point B, and that is the end of the story.
However, this usually couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Typically, almost everyone reaches a plateau in their progress – a point where you stop getting the results you were getting using your current training methods.
If this has happened to you recently, you may feel frustrated, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone by any means. And, while a plateau may seem discouraging, it’s usually not as bad as it seems, and not as hard to get past as it seems.
Typically, moving past a plateau simply requires one thing: creativity.
Different Movements = Different Results?
Our bodies are masters at adaptation. Thanks to thousands of years of having to survive in wild, unknown environments, we’ve been hardwired to adapt quickly to different movements, exertion levels, terrain, and more. And, while this mechanism is great for survival … it can be extremely annoying in the modern age when it comes to fitness and weight loss.
Being able to adapt so quickly to workouts and changes in diets and calorie levels is usually THE reason we hit plateaus, even if we’re doing everything “right.” Once our bodies become accustomed to our activity level and style of movement, it uses less energy to perform those movements … and as such, progress appears to stall.
So, how does creativity help in this scenario? By getting creative with our movements and trying new workout styles, we can give our bodies a kickstart to progress, as it now has to “adapt” to a new movement, weight level, or endurance challenge.
However, it doesn’t necessarily take an overhauling of your entire routine to break through a plateau. Often, simply adding a one – five second eccentric or isometric or concentric tempo to a lunge, press, or squat can serve as a completely novel stimulus for your body. Or, even going with a slightly wider stance when squatting can cause that moment pattern to feel like an entirely new pattern, which in turn creates a novel message from your brain to your limbs and periphery.
You can also get creative with the length of your workouts, or their speed. For example, if you typically go for long jogs or walks for a cardio session, switch it up once or twice a week and do a shorter and faster interval training session. If you do equipment-based workouts at your gym, try introducing freeweight or even bodyweight or plyometric workouts once or twice a week.
The key is to introduce something new and different to your regime, and not being afraid to get creative with your movements. Check out our Instagram for tons of novel movements that will challenge your body to move through plateaus, as well as download the FREE 14-Day Trial of our app below: