By Nikki Bittner
Personal Trainer, TPAC
Are you starting to feel like you are hitting a fitness plateau? Struggling to lose those last stubborn 10 pounds? Usually, this means that your body has become used to your usual workout and has become more “efficient.” When your body becomes efficient it uses less energy (read: calories) to perform familiar tasks. Efficiency is the enemy of body changes. Here are some ideas to take your workout to the next level, and breakthrough the efficiency plateau.
One way of breaking through a plateau is to increase the frequency of your workouts. By adding an extra day to your routine, you will challenge your body to deal with the extra load and thus break through the efficiency barrier. However, we know time is precious and sometimes an extra workout is not possible in our busy daily lives.
Another way to break through the efficiency plateau is to increase the intensity of your workouts. In a previous blog video (January 2021), we discussed training zones and how they change the body’s reaction to exercise. This is where you can make the most impact. Try a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or Boot Camp where you complete AMRAP (as many reps as possible) in a set period of time. Start to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
While any movement is good, if you are used to getting on a machine for 45 minutes at the same pace, it could be time to challenge your body to work harder. There are many pre-set workouts in our Precor cardio machines that will take you through changes in elevation and intensity and will push your body out of efficiency and torch those calories!
Another way to break through a plateau is to cross-train. Changing up the type of workout will challenge your body in ways in which is not used to being challenged. If you have previously walked the track, try using stationary bikes. If your favorite workout is the Elliptical, try the Step Mill and see how your body reacts to the new skill you have introduced. When your body needs to adjust to a new way of moving, it burns more calories than doing an activity at which it has become most efficient.
As always, we encourage you to have adequate recovery as part of your workout routine. It is stressful on the body to do high-intensity workouts all the time so make sure you don’t overtrain. Allow your body to rest and always get plenty of sleep and adequate hydration.
All of these techniques can help you break through the dreaded fitness plateau, and help kick start your workout to new levels.