Plateaus are quite common. A person trying to lose 50 pounds, for example, might shed the first 30 with a fair amount of ease and then not see that last 20 budge an inch for some time.
First off, don’t give up because what you’re experiencing is completely normal and everyone goes through it!
Consistency over a long period of time is the secret to success. In other words, it’s those who push through the plateaus, injuries, and consistently do the right things over a long period of time who will realize their true potential, both mind and body.
That’s not really a secret is it…? However, it truly defines who’s successful and who’s not. Many people who attempt a fitness or health goal give up too easily. It’s like some folks, at the first sign of adversity, they give up, letting just about anything be an excuse to give up.
Being successful in fitness, and anything worth having in life, is based solely on your level of desire to achieve your goals. To achieve the body you have always wanted and the quality of life I’m sure you deserve, you must have a burning desire to the point of obsession. That means staying committed regardless of adversity!
There will always be road blocks standing in your way, they will come in many different forms, shapes, and sizes, but overcoming these barriers with full commitment to achieving your goals, no matter what, will be crucial to your success.
We all travel through peaks and valleys…have good days and bad days. You’ve all heard the saying, it’s not how many times you get knocked down…but how many times you get back up that truly matters!
Our Pushups For Charity spokesperson, Captain Chad Fleming, is a shining example of what commitment is all about and what it takes to succeed no matter what. He say’s, “real strength is the determination to push forward regardless of life’s circumstances”
During his six deployments overseas, Captain Fleming was wounded in combat on three separate occasions, most recently in October of 2005. He has undergone 23+ surgeries, which would later result in a trans-tibial amputation of his left leg.
Do you think that stopped him from accomplishing what he set out to do…? I don’t think so! As I always say…If you truly, with all your heart, want something bad enough you’ll find a way to make it happen no matter what stands in your way!
Here are my top ten ways to overcome a plateau, or anything else for that matter, standing between you and accomplishing your fitness goals.
- Change Your Routines Often-The body is an extremely efficient and resilient machine and will adapt to your workout routines very quickly. In fact, by the time you realize your efforts have stalled, you’ve most likely plateaued weeks maybe even months ago. Changing your routines often to keep the body guessing is how you can overcome this common trap.
- Focus On Constant Steady Improvement-Make a commitment each week to improving progress from the previous week. I’m not talking big improvements, actually small and consistent increases are best. Shoot each week to do a little better than you did the previous week in the following 3 areas:
- Increase resistance or the load you’re moving, even just a pound or two makes a difference.
- Increase the volume of work done, or the amount of reps completed in a specific amount of time.
- Increase the difficulty of your movements, for example, doing a single leg squat is a lot harder than a traditional two legged squat.
- Exercise Journals-Keeping an exercise journal will increase your success significantly by allowing you to look back at what you’ve accomplished previously and, as discussed above, make sure you are achieving constant steady improvement. If you’re not journaling, you’re not going to remember what you did last time. The result is you’ll do the same old routine and make no forward progress.
- Set Goals-To achieve a desired result, the result you’re shooting to achieve must be clearly outlined. An assessment of where you are now in relation to that goal must be done and only then can a clear path for improvement be set to get you from point A to point B. Finally, the goal must be reviewed daily to ensure consistent action is taken towards the achievement of that goal.
- Publicize Your Goals-This is like rocket fuel for most. When no one knows what you’re trying to achieve, there’s no risk involved if you quit or fail. Publicize your goals and fear of failure or letting others down will drive you like none other.
- Get A Workout Buddy Or Accountability Partner-Being accountable to someone else helps you stay on track. A good partner will support and encourage you and provide tough love when needed. You will be less likely to cancel your training commitments when it will impact someone else’s day.
- Get A Fitness Coach-One of the biggest problems I see daily is information overload. Everyone’s an expert these days. Every magazine you read, TV show, and internet website has a so called expert saying something completely opposite. So what most folks do is take a little nugget from each person and try to apply it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. You have to find one voice that you trust, who has proven results to back up what they say. A coach who can provide you tried and true experience from years of experience in the trenches.
- Challenge Yourself-Find something that challenges you and commit yourself to overcoming that challenge. A great way to do this is register yourself for an event like a race or competition, something you can’t back out of. Then publicize that challenge to everyone you know & ask them to attend. Between the support of all those you involved and the desire to make them proud, it’s a winner every time!
- Get A Nutrition Coach-No matter what you set out to accomplish in life, the life force behind our daily actions is the food we eat and the water we drink. It’s the fuel we provide our body that determines 90% of our success. With that said, is there anything more important than a lifelong commitment to nutrition? What is proper nutrition…? Yet again, another confusing topic with many opinions. Get an expert to customize a plan that’s best for you.
- Cleanse Every 90 Days-Many people may not know this but you could be eating really healthy nutritious foods but not receiving any of the benefits from doing so. If your colon is sludged up then much of what you eat will never be absorbed. Our nutrients are absorbed through the walls of the intestines, well, as you can imagine if those walls are covered in gunk not much absorption can take place. Maximize your healthy eating efforts and make sure you do a mild cleanse every 90 days.
So there you have it…my top ten plateau busting techniques!
Commit yourself to this list and nothing will stand in your way that you can’t overcome!
Be sure and go to www.delawareonline.com/health to read the News Journal “Overcoming Your Fitness Plateau” from May 22, 2012, you’ll learn more on this topic, hear some advice from my colleagues and hear from some of my clients and how they avoided their own plateaus.
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