6 Tips to Fix Your Stalled Fitness
If you’ve been going to the gym, running or working out for a while and not feeling like you’re getting the gains you think should be, here are six suggestions that may help you get the gains you’re looking for.
- Go heavier
- Go lighter
- Go slower
- Go faster
- Change it up
- And finally, take a break!
#1. Go Heavier
You may have been lifting or working out for a while but haven’t changed or Justin the weights or resistance you’ve been using. Try upping it a little bit. I didn’t resistance to your training regimen will create that muscle hypertrophy you’ve been looking for. Try this, if you can lift a weight easily with 10 reps, up the weight until 10 reps seems challenging or you can only do 8 reps. Now stay it that way for a little while until it becomes easy and slowly increase your resistance.
Your muscles will respond to the increased load creating growth and strength.
#2. Go lighter.
Another way to increase your muscle strength is to change it up by lifting lighter weights but more repetitions. Lifting lighter weights with multiple repetitions can create muscle fatigue that will again cause those muscles to respond by growing longer and stronger.
It’s a common myth in the gym that you can only grow muscle with heavier and heavier weights. Long lean muscle growth responds very well to lighter weights and longer stronger contractions. When lifting lighter weights, it helps to focus on The eccentric or the downward motion of your lift.
Try this, for example. If you can lift a weight easily with 10 reps, try 15 or 20. If that’s too much, decrease the weight and go for that large multiple rep. You may be only able to do two or three sets, but the muscles will respond by getting long and lean.
#3. Go Slower
One of the mistakes I most often see in the gym are members trying to lift too fast to move the weight. To get the most gains try lifting slower. I often use the analogy of a slow Strauss waltz:
1, 2, 3 up – 1, 2,3 down.
You’ll probably be amazed at how much more challenging lifting slow and controlled is compared to just throwing the weights around rather fast. Slowing that lift down will give that muscle time to grow. Remember our famous mantra here at 614 Fitness:
Time under tension equals muscle hypertrophy or:
“If you go slow the muscles will grow!”
#4. Go faster
This piece of advice may seem antithetical to what I just said. However I don’t mean necessarily lifting faster but taking less time between the lifts or moving through your routine with much more alacrity. This may also apply to all my runner friends out there who are stuck with a certain time they’d like to improve. Everyone knows adding some speed work or fartlek work can decrease your times.
Most research now shows that you should be able to get a very good muscle workout in 30 to 45 minutes in the gym. More than that and you’re not only wasting time, but you’re probably getting decreasing returns on your gains. So make your workouts efficient and move through them quickly. If you’re doing a HIIT workout or boot camp, just try picking up the pace.
A great trick for speeding up that pace or speeding up your workout, is to try a Tabata timing. Set your Tabata timer and do 20 seconds of very good hard fast-paced work, followed by 10 seconds of nice leisurely momentum. You’ll find that these quick bursts of energy and speed we’ll make a big difference in improving the quality of the workouts and the amount of gains you’re able to achieve.
#5. Change it up.
You’ve probably heard this witticism before, but it bears repeating this time:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
That witticism is usually attributed to Albert Einstein.
If you’re not getting the results you want from your workouts… do something different. Change up the timing, the time of day, how often per week you’re working out or the type of workouts that you’ve been doing.
For instance, if you’re a runner and you’ve been putting in lots of good long miles but aren’t seeing the results you’d like, try adding shorter faster runs. You may even want to break up your long runs into two separate runs even on the same day.
In the gym, if you normally do boot camp or hit workouts, try more lifting or heavy weight workouts to help your body respond and get stronger.
There’s another truism in physical fitness and that is that muscle confusion creates muscle growth.
I’ll only touch on nutrition here briefly, but you may want to look at your diet and hydration patterns to make sure you’re fueling your engine correctly.
If your diet has been working for you for quite a while but you’ve reached a plateau, try changing it up Maybe doing something like carb cycling or protein enhancement to change what you’re doing. And always make sure you’re getting enough hydration.
Finally, #6: Take a break.
This is a problem I see a lot in our athletes that work out and train all year long. They often become stale and
stop seeing the gains that they did at the beginning. But think about it this way, even highly trained professional athletes have an off season.
For example, Lionel Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time, takes a good deal of time off after the season. That doesn’t mean he lays around watching Netflix and eating bonbons. He spends that time focusing on his diet, his stretching and agility drills, and uses that off time to recharge his mental energy.
If you find yourself in one of those slumps you workouts, you may want to design an off-season. Take a month off to reset your goals, work on your diet, your sleep habits, and other things that will help you when you decide to go back and hit the gym or the road again.
Too often we’re driven by fear or by guilt and think we have to work out endlessly and tirelessly day in and day out. While it’s true that consistency and dedication are very important in a workout program, rest and recovery are just as important.
There you have it. If you are experiencing a slump in your workout routine or in your fitness, I hope some of these suggestions may help you change it up a little bit and see the improvements and gains that you’re looking for.