Common Exercise Mistakes That Can Cause a Plateau

Anyone that’s been on a weight loss or fitness journey has been there – the dreaded plateau. You feel like you’re working your butt off (literally), but the scale and the mirror show no visible progress. Hitting a plateau can be disheartening, and many people want to throw in the towel, but you can overcome it. Chances are you’re making some simple mistakes in your daily workout routine that are stalling your progress.

You’re Neglecting Rest Days
It may seem counterintuitive but avoiding overexertion and taking rest days are extremely important when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. Not taking a rest day or two during the week or pushing yourself can lead to a lot of negative side effects, including injury. Giving your muscles and other body parts time to heal will prevent you from hurting yourself and lead to an overall boost in performance since your muscles and joints won’t be straining from overuse.

You’re Routine is Too Repetitive
While you may enjoy that pattern you’ve fallen into at the gym it may be hurting your progress, especially if you’re working towards a weight loss goal. Our bodies are made to adapt and doing the same routine day after day and week after week will cause your body to become overly efficient at those movements. What was once a challenging session in the gym can easily turn into the equivalent of an average walk. To avoid hitting this wall, change up your routine. Change up your cardio by adding in some high intensity interval training (HIIT), increase length and/or frequency of your workout sessionsy or try something totally different. For instance, if you typically spend an hour on the treadmill switch it up and try an hour-long spin class.

You’re Not Pushing Yourself with Weights
In order to get the most out of strength training in your workout routine, you need to make sure you’re using enough weight. Chances are the weight you’re using is too light, not allowing your muscles to receive enough of a challenge to produce visible results. Try raising the amount of weight you use by 10% for a few moves during each workout session. For instance, if you do 8 exercises each session, choose 2 of those to increase the amount of weight you use. Continue that pattern each week, and you’ll be sure to notice a difference. It’s also important to make sure you’re using proper form, and that you don’t lift too heavy and end up injuring yourself. If you ever feel like you’re hurting yourself during any exercise, drop the weights and take a rest.

You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
Staying properly hydrated is majorly important for overall health, but even more so when hitting the gym. Without proper hydration, your cells aren’t able to produce enough energy to get you through a workout, leaving you feeling fatigued. It also causes a dangerous increase in heart rate, as your body is working double time to replace blood volume as you work out. Another negative effect of dehydration? The inability to properly regulate body temperature. You’ll sweat more than usual, losing even more fluids, and your bodies natural cooling mechanism will no longer work the way it should. Not only are these dangerous for your overall health but they also lead to less effective workouts and difficulties in the gym.

You Have No Game Plan
When hitting the gym, having some sort of idea of what you want to work on is essential. If you go into a workout blind, you’re not maximizing your time in an effective way. Coming up with a solid routine allows you to focus on specific muscle groups each time you enter the gym, allowing you to see more progress each week. Not sure what that routine should include or what muscle groups you need to focus on? Contact me at Train with Nicole. I can assess your current level of fitness, talk to you about your weight loss and fitness goals, and work with you to create an effective routine.

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