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
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.
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.