Even the most dedicated gym-goers can sometimes fall foul of the dreaded plateau. When that happens, you can be working your butt off and still won't see the results you're looking for in the mirror.
It's frustrating, but before you get disheartened and give up the ghost altogether, take a step back and try to assess what might be going wrong. To help you out, here are 3 common exercise mistakes and what to do about them:
1. Ignoring Your Diet
Ever heard the term "you can't outrun a bad diet?" Well, you have now. Put simply, it means that no amount of exercise can compensate for poor eating habits. If you're scoffing pizza, sweets and fizzy drinks on a daily basis, you can kiss goodbye to any hope of seeing your six-pack.
But that's an extreme example — chances are your diet is reasonably clean. In that case, I recommend examining your carbohydrate intake. You'll want to find a point where you're getting enough carbohydrate to support your performance in the gym, but not so much that you're prevented from metabolising and burning stored fat.
Obviously, this is going to depend on your physiology and tolerance for carbs, so start making small reductions until you find a sweet spot. Another good tip is to always combine carbs with protein, like eating a handful of almonds with an apple, for example.
2. Not Getting Enough Rest
For the vast majority of people, just doing the bare minimum of exercise each week is enough of a challenge. But for others, the pendulum can easily swing the other way. If you're doing intense weights sessions every single day and piling on hours of cardio, that's probably overkill.
Too much high-intensity training is a recipe for burnout, and it won't get you where you want to be any faster. Again, it's just about finding a sweet spot where you're pushing yourself to get fitter without overdoing it.
Limit intense weights sessions to a few times per week, and allow plenty of recovery time in between. Trust your diet do the work in terms of fat loss, and look at your workouts as a fun way to challenge yourself and maintain your fitness.
3. Not Changing Up Your Routine
Another common exercise mistake is sticking with the same routine for too long. Your body is great at adapting to physical challenges, so results become less and less dramatic when you keep doing the same thing over and over. If your routine looks exactly the same as it did 6 months ago, there's a good chance this is the reason things have begun to stagnate.
Try mixing things up a little by trying new exercises that hit the same muscle groups, like switching from the barbell bench press to dumbbell flyes, for example. The main thing is to keep your body guessing, as this is critical to breaking through fitness plateaus.
Still not making the progress you want with your fitness goals? Request a free consultation here at our Personal Training Studio in Ranelagh and we'll get you back on track again.
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