Hit A Fitness Plateau? Here’s How To Break Through & Get Results
Tell us if this sounds familiar: You’re getting your workouts in, eating Lean, Clean, ‘N Green, and overall crushing your healthy lifestyle…but eventually your progress hits a plateau. We know this can be frustrating, but plateaus are totally normal and happen to all of us ~ yes, even your trainers!
The good news: An exercise plateau is a sign you’ve made progress. You’re stronger than when you started and ready to tackle new challenges. It’s your body’s way of saying, “Thank you, NEXT!”
Keep reading for the science behind fitness plateaus, and what you can do to bust through ‘em and get the results you want. Tone It Up is a lifestyle and your strength and dedication will overcome any temporary setbacks. You’ve got this babe!
PS: We’ll be in the Studio today Kickin’ It With Chyna to switch things up on our cardio routine! Join us in your Tone It Up app for this amazing cardio kickboxing workout!!
What causes a fitness plateau?
If you’re brand new to working out, you can expect your body to get stronger and leaner pretty quickly. And that makes sense: Your body is responding to so many new demands, and continuously adapting to meet them. So you stick with the same plan. And six months or so later, you’re scratching your head wondering “what gives??”
Exercise plateaus occur when the body begins to adapt to the volume and intensity of your workout. It’s no longer challenged by your routine ~ it considers it the “new normal,” and your body stays the same.
So how do you reset your new baseline to get your muscles poppin’ and metabolism revving again? Here’s our best advice for challenging your body in new, science-backed ways!
5 Ways To Break Through A Plateau
Don’t be basic
Bicep curls, check! Crunches, check! If you have a handful of moves you cycle through, ask yourself how many are multi-joint movements, which demand more of your mobility, strength, and coordination. One simple fix: Opt for combo moves! Turn that basic bicep curl into a reverse lunge + curl. Level up your crunches to these boxer babe sit-ups.
Want a realllll challenge? Head to your app for today’s Kickin’ It With Chyna workout! That lunge + kick + single-leg burpee + mountain climber combo is NO JOKE! Bonus: the explosive, plyometric portion of moves like these will fire up your metabolism and challenge your musculoskeletal system like crazy!
Vary your variables
You’ve probably heard it from us before: Go heavier! Increase your reps! Shorten your rest! Pick up the pace! There are so many factors when it comes to putting together a plateau-busting workout routine, and tweaking one or more of these factors can deliver MAJOR results.
Pro tip: If you really want to know what works and what doesn’t for YOU, change one variable at a time and keep track of the results. For some, intensity might be the biggest factor. For others, it could be all about the resistance. Get to know what’s working for you, and be prepared to mix it up again after about 4-5 weeks.
Mix up your modalities
Do what you love. And if you’re stuck in an exercise rut, make sure to do other things too! When your body is exposed to the same type of training stimulus day after day, you’ll slowly stop responding to that stimulus and become accustomed to the challenge.
All cardio all the time? Swap your steady-pace jog for a HIIT routine twice a week. (We have TONS in the Studio Tone It Up app!) Obsessed with strength training? Change up your dumbbell workout to incorporate kettlebells, resistance bands, Booty Bands, and barbells. THIS barbell routine is 🔥!!!
Rest, recover, and reduce stress
By now you probably know you should be shooting for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. And if you’re exercising hardcore, your body might need MORE. During REM sleep, your body releases growth hormone, which stimulates muscle growth and repair and sparks fat burning. How’s that for motivation to stop scrolling Insta and get some zzz’s?!
Similarly, don’t skimp on active recovery (think: foam rolling and stretching). That’s equally important to seeing and feeling amazing results. Feeling crazy stressed? That’s a factor too, which might be affecting your ability to recover and progress forward. Remember to roll out that yoga mat!
Take a look at your fridge
Last but not least, assess your nutrition. To get an honest picture of your eating habits, try journaling your meals and snacks for a few days. Have you been sticking to your Tone It Up Nutrition Plan meals and portion sizes? Are you overdoing it on sugar, alcohol, late-night snacks? Whenever you feel like you’re slipping, refer back to the plan and journal for a week. Getting in amazing shape has so much to do with how you fuel and refuel that beautiful body.