Whether you’ve recently started your fitness journey or been on it for years, everyone wants to keep progressing. This could be lifting heavier, reaching a weight goal or mastering a new move.But, continuing to see progress is what keeps a lot of us in the gym.
Not seeing any change when you feel you’re working as hard as ever can be really demotivating to carry on. Or when you thought you were losing weight but haven’t lost as much as you were expecting. No one wants to feel like they’ve wasted their time, but plateaus can happen to everyone at some point.
There are loads of things you can still try or add to your lifestyle to switch it up more- keeping it more exciting. You could also try planning your sessions more and thinking about why you want to reach these goals.
It can be frustrating seeing others achieve what you wanted, or be where you want to be. But, it can take time.
Everyone’s goals are different and everyone has their own reasons for starting to lead a new, healthier lifestyle. These are our top tips for making sure you keep pushing through and what you can do if you’re not seeing any progress.
Keep Mixing Things Up
Changes to your routine are super beneficial, so you don’t let your body get used to a certain routine. This is the best way to avoid a fat loss plateau.
There are so many ways you can mix your current routine up. One could be changing your rest days- if you have particular rest and working days a week, change the days you gym every so often or be more flexible and take rest days when you feel like you need them.
You could try a new way of exercising, for example, fitness classes. They might even be available at your gym. Trying new things is great for avoiding a plateau- you could find something you enjoy even more than your current routine. Refreshing your gym routine by adding in a few classes can make it more enjoyable by doing something different each week.
Classes will still help you reach your fitness goals, and some may even be better for working towards them. A lot of people find classes for cardio more engaging than just running on a treadmill all the time- try spinning or boxing, for example. And, they’ll get you in the gym for a specific time- great for when you’re on a schedule.
Also, don’t neglect your stretching. Mobility exercises and classes like pilates will help strengthen your body, improve general fitness and your ability to perform certain weight lifting exercises. This something you may not already be doing, but are definitely worth your time. You don’t have to break a sweat every single time for it to be worth it.
If you’re running short on time or low on willpower to leave the house but still want to train, try adding some home workouts in. There’s so many free workouts you can do at home to save you going to the gym every time. Whether that’s weights, mobility, HIIT workouts- there will be something online or on You Tube for you to try.
If running on a treadmill is your cardio, switch it up a few days by getting outside in the fresh air and going for a run outside instead. It can do wonders too and be a great way to get your cardio in- especially if the weather is nice!
Try a Session With a Personal Trainer
If you find that you’re not making the progress you want, or falling off track at the moment- checking in with a personal trainer can make a lot of difference. A PT can also teach you how best to reach your goals and how to do exercises you might not have known before.
Personal trainers are qualified to give you a new and personalised weekly routine and nutrition information for you to follow. Seeing a PT and explaining what you’re currently doing and what you’re aiming for, means they’ll be able to tell you where you’re going wrong and what you can do to really push yourself.
Finding the right personal trainer for you can take some searching though. But, finding the right one will mean you have someone to keep you accountable and someone that really understands you to talk to about your fitness journey with.
Some people keep personal trainers for years, and some people just book one session every-so-often to check they’re on the right track. Use a PT however suits you and your lifestyle best. If your goal is to lose weight, a personal trainer will ensure your sessions pay off and that you’re keeping to the plan. However, don’t expect to see results instantly after one session. These things take time too.
Planning when you’re going to workout around your other commitments can be half the battle when sticking to a fitness plan. If you can set out how many times you want to work out a week and which sessions you want to work on, you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
Organising sessions visually will help keep you accountable, and prepare yourself for the week to come. Fitting in workouts around your commitments and busy lives is really difficult, but workouts don’t need to be hours long each time. Work smarter and harder- you might find that you can do your planned workout in much less time if you don’t look at your phone, or try supersets when you’re really pushed for time.
Planning your workout before you go to the gym means you don’t go into the gym not knowing what to do. Which also wastes time.
Save the workouts you want to do that day or week on your phone, or write on a piece of paper, so when you go to your workout you already know what you’re doing and what equipment you want to use.
If some weeks you have way too much going on, that’s okay- plan less sessions and at times you’ll realistically have time to workout and when you’ll want to. You won’t want to workout after a long day and commitments after work. Only put sessions into your plan you know you can stick to.
Keeping yourself accountable is a great idea because you’ll be able to easily see your progress over the weeks and months. Creating new goals for each week or month can be a more engaging and competitive way to progress and reach more goals.
Plan Your Meals
Creating a meal plan, with the correct nutrition could be where you’re going wrong. You might be eating ‘healthily’ but is your food really that healthy for you and giving you what your body needs? Don’t forget your cups of tea or coffee at the office or friday night drinks count too- so when you think you’re sticking to the plan, you might actually not be.
Everyone is unique and needs different amounts of nutrients to each other- so what works for one person to lose weight might not work for you. And remember, the only way to lose weight is having a greater calorie output than input- to put simply: burning more calories than you’re eating. Counting macros can also aid people to really understand what they need to be getting more and less of in their diet.
Some people find batch cooking at once for the week really useful and saves time. If you can cook 5 of the same meal in one go and put it into tupperware, you can just take it from the fridge to work or wherever you’re headed for the day. You might find you’re less likely to snack if you already have lunch planned. It will mean you are definitely getting one nutritious, quick meal a day- and you’ll know how many calories, protein, fats and sugars are in it too.
There are so many free recipes online for the best meal prep – and guides on how to make it work for you. Preparing your meals in advance could be what you need to really progress your fitness journey, and make sure you stay on track.
Don’t Forget to Relax
Ensuring you take your rest days are just as important for your physical health as it is your mental health. Giving yourself a day to recover will help you come back stronger the next session. Wearing yourself out will make your workouts less effective, give you less energy and by continuing to workout without resting, you could even be damaging yourself without knowing.
There are many ways to take time to rest and focus on your mindfulness, like meditation, going for walks and most important of all, sleeping. Good night’s sleep will help relax your muscles, give them time to repair and soothe them.
These 5 tips should help you to improve your lifestyle to achieve the goals you want. Small and easy changes like mixing your exercise routine up, resting and making sure you’re not making any diet mistakes all help. Reaching fitness goals takes a lot of time and commitment, so organising your weeks and preparing yourself can help you to progress at a pace you’re happier with. There are always new ways to try ensure you’re pushing yourself forward in your fitness journey.