How to Bust Through Training Plateaus

As a home gym junkie who flies solo through most of my workouts, I sometimes think that one of the biggest drawbacks to training exclusively at home is the lack of feedback and the lack of assistance that you get at a fitness center. This can make it challenging to overcome notoriously frustrating training plateaus.

Since I’m basically a positive person, I like to minimize drawbacks in anything I do. So, instead of giving up my home gym luxuries for a more interactive setting, I figured out some ways to bust through my training plateaus on my own. Here’s what’s worked for me.

Take it Outside

If your workouts are starting to feel sluggish and your energy seems to be at a low, it might be time to take your workouts outside for a week.

For one thing, most people don’t realize that you can get a killer workout outside! In addition to that great news, the fresh, outdoor air can reinvigorate a fitness buff on the verge of burnout.

One of my favorite places to workout when I need some new found energy is the park. A good playground provides all the workout equipment you need to work as hard as you want.

Do Some Interval Training

If you don’t live in a climate that’s conducive to training outside, or if you simply dislike the outdoors, another great way to push through a plateau is to use interval training.

Doing timed intervals of strength training and cardiovascular training is an extremely efficient and effective way to workout. The change in pace will help to “keep your muscles guessing”, which will in turn, keep your muscles growing.

Another benefit of interval training is that is usually takes less time to complete an interval workout than it does a traditional weight training session followed by some cardio. As a result, you get a little more down time to recover and relax.

Rest If You Have To

If you just can’t seem to push through your training plateau, it may be time to take a little break. Now, that doesn’t mean sit on your butt and watch television all week.

I’m a big fan of active rest. Yes, it’s an oxymoron, but it’s a smart way to train. Taking a period of active rest is beneficial because it allows your body to recover from strenuous exercise while still burning calories and staying active.

By active rest I mean the you should get a yoga DVD and use that for one or two workouts or try out an activity that will keep you moving while you’re having fun. Avoid your standard routines and do something new.

Go out dancing or go ice skating. Work in the garden or power walk in the mall- just move and have fun. At the end of the week you’ll find your energy restored and your spirits lifted.

Adjust Your Diet

keto diet

If you’re training hard and your not eating right, you’ll hit a training plateau pretty quickly. Food is fuel for your body.

Proper nutrition will ensure that your body performs at its maximum potential.

Just as you wouldn’t drive your car cross-country without doing a little preventative maintenance and you shouldn’t push your body without doing preventative maintenance by eating right.

If you’re in a slump you may be pleasantly surprised by the energy a little change in diet can give you.

Conclusion

The biggest thing to realize here is that you don’t need fancy equipment or luxurious gyms to keep your workouts progressing even when you hit the proverbial wall.

Heck, you don’t even need a training partner or personal trainer. All you really need is some resolve and a plan. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. You may find a little change of pace is all you needed to get your muscles growing and your waist line shrinking again.

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Folding Bicycles may be Just Right for your Daily Commute

folding bike

Folding bicycles may be the perfect set up for those of you who enjoy doing that daily commute on a bike. Today’s folding bikes offer a world of options and useful features above and beyond those offered by such bikes in the past.

In addition to convenience and portability, these beautiful examples of high-tech transportation are eye-catching conversation starters that might spread the success of bike commuting to your friends and co-workers.

In our city, as with many mid-sized cities and large towns across America, public transportation can be sketchy at best when it comes to planning a “green” solution to commuting.

Buses run infrequently and may not be all that convenient for those who want to take them to work. The result is a work or shopping commute that may work best if you can combine bus, walking, and a convenient form of peddle power, i.e., you get the bus fare in hand, put on your most comfortable walking shoes, load your briefcase or attache into a backpack, and then deal with your chosen commuter bike. Then it’s off to work (or the mall, or coffee house, or library, or whatever …)

Also in our city, the public buses DO actually sport front mounted bicycle racks. This allows you to lift your bicycle onto the bus carrier while you do that stage of your commute and quickly grab it when the bus route ends or goes out of your way.

It also puts the fate of your beautiful bicycle — which represents a certain financial investment as well as emotional attachment — in the hands of the bus driver and/or whatever drivers happen to be in front of the bus!

A well-made folding bike gives you more control over the situation, allowing you to protect your investment, and allowing you maybe a few minutes more sleep before you rush to the office or time clock, since you can jump off the bus and hit the ground “running” or in this case “riding” with very little time taken to snap the frame of your folding bike into place and go.

folding bike

(Folding bikes have a proud history where quickly portable, light-weight transportation is in demand. They were developed and first deployed by the French military as early as 1900. And British paratroopers were enthusiastic users of folding bikes all through World War II.)

Styles and qualities of folding bikes may vary greatly, but they essentially come with two important options: single-speed and multi-speed. One of the higher-tech, quality multi-speed folding bikes is the Montague Crosstown Folding Bike — which offers 7 speeds, weighs in at approximately 27 pounds, and claims a 20-second “folding time” with no need for tools to make it fit and ready to roll. It even offers a one-click option to adjust the height of the handlebars.

If the Montague Fit Folding Bike should prove to be a bit above your price range, Montague makes the SwissBike X50 Folding Mountain Bike for around $50 less than the Crosstown. Although the SwissBike X50 isn’t made of quite the high-tech alloys of the Crosstown, it does boast the same 20-second folding time and actually has a greater range of 18 different speeds. However, it does weigh in a bit heavier at 32 pounds.

Both of the Montague folding bikes measure an easily manageable 36x28x12 inches when folded.

Conclusion

If you’re really interested in a serious commuting bike and you have an urban environment, a folding bike may be the choice for you. These sturdy little machines date back nearly to the beginnings of modern bicycle construction and use, and they will only grow more popular in the future as the world continues to “go green”!