Top 5 Exercise Plateau Breakers
Plateau. That dreaded word that you do not want to hear, let alone experience. Especially if you have been diligently exercising in an attempt to get fit or lose weight. We have all experienced a plateau at some time all of a sudden you stop losing weight or you just cant seem to run any faster. When you hit a plateau, dont panic. It doesnt necessarily mean you need to work harder or spend more days at the gym.
Here are five ideas that may help you break through in record time.
Take an Active Rest
If you have hit a plateau, it may be time for an active rest. Take a week off from structured exercise, and instead take leisurely walks, play ball with the kids, or take a yoga class. Active rest rejuvenates the mind and the body and allows for overworked muscles to rest and rebuild. You will return to exercise stronger and ready for new challenges.
Time to Eat
As you increase your fitness level, your bodys metabolism may increase and so will your calorie needs. If you hit a plateau, evaluate how much you are eating. You may need to eat more than you have in the past for your body to continue to increase its fitness level. If you find you are often hungry, this is a clear sign you need to eat more to sustain your exercise program.
Mix it Up
If you do not vary your workout routine your body will eventually run on cruise control, and you will experience a plateau. Try new cardiovascular activities, or use free weights if you always use machines for strength training. Changes in your routine will surprise the body and force it to adapt, bringing you to new levels of fitness.
Different Day, Different Intensity
Varying your activities, or cross-training is important to avoid or break through a plateau. While cross-training the type of activity is often recommended, it is also important to cross-train the intensity of your workouts. Specify different days of the week as low, moderate or high-intensity days. Try interval training work at a low intensity for a couple of minutes and increase to a high intensity for a couple of minutes, and repeat. If you use a heart rate monitor, be sure your average heart rate for your exercise sessions vary from day to day.
Sleep It Off
Be sure you are getting enough sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep for your body will allow time for your muscles to recover from exercise. This will ensure that you can come to your next exercise session with enough energy and at full strength to take on a challenging workout.
If you are still frustrated, find inspiration in the story of Chris Witty, winner of the Gold Medal in 1000 meter speed skating in the 1998 Winter Olympics. A month before she was to compete in the Olympics, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis. Of course she had to cut back on training, and at the time that she should have been preparing to peak for competition. Not only did she win the Gold Medal, which nobody expected, she broke the world record! Imagine what a little rest might do for your workouts!
If you find you still cant break through that plateau, then make the decision to ride it out. Sometimes a plateau is necessary to allow the body to catch up with a new body weight or fitness level. Rest assured your body knows what is best and will break through the plateau at the right time!
About The Author
Gillian Hood-Gabrielson, MS, ACSM is the president of Flexible Fitness, a nationwide coaching practice offering health and fitness solutions for your busy lifestyle including Fitness Coaching by Phone, Intuitive Eating, and monthly motivational seminars. She can be reached at 866-618-8814 or by email at email@example.com. To receive our free report, I Hate Exercise Too! and our newsletter, please visit www.flexiblefitnessforyou.com.
Exercising - Ways of staying motivated!
The number one reason people say they do not exercise is lack of time. Not long ago, a twenty-year study was completed centering on the theory that, "There is not as much time in the day as there used to be." The study concluded that just the opposite was true. It showed that with all the technology today, we have 1.5 more hours in a day than we did twenty years ago. In other words, with all the gadgets out there to help us communicate and manage our time, we should have an hour and a half more time for ourselves. What is the solution? With a little prioritizing and some time management, we can find the time to exercise!
Pilates Exercises ? Can They Give You The Body Youve Always Wanted?
Pilates exercises are a favorite fitness choice for many people including movie stars like Danny Glover and Gweneth Paltrow, professional dancers, and even some professional baseball players. Why this fascination with Pilates? What can it do that other forms of exercise can't?
4 Exercises That Will Help You Change Your Body Faster Than Any Other Exercises You May Have Tried
1. Lunges with a barbell. Properly executed, this exercise is the king (or queen) of total body reshaping exercises.
Debunking the Myth of Spot Reduction
Do you ever wonder how to shrink the fat on your thighs or reduce the flab on the back of your arms? Ever wake and up and dream about wearing your favorite pants from the glory days of college? Well, short of plastic surgery, there is no way to simply eliminate certain problem areas.
Weight Loss and Fitness - Facts not Fiction
The world of weight loss and fitness is certainly vast, and theAmerican consumer can absolutely get lost in the thousands ofeasy effortless and ostly useless ads if not careful. With mybooks and research I want to clear the air about the variousmyths and false statements regarding our health and fitness thathave clearly muddied the waters for many Americans.
Stretching for Health
Lack of flexibility is now seen to be a major cause of general health problems and sports injury and is being linked to everything from stress. back pain, and even osteoarthritis. It also means that nagging injuries, especially around your joints take longer to heal.
Thirty Minutes of Exercise a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
"Exercise is good for you!" If you had a dollar for every time you heard this statement uttered, you'd be rich by now, right? Well, proponents of everyday physical activity aren't just blowing smoke when they repeat this mantra. Medical research has uncovered resounding evidence to back up this "good for you" claim. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Centers for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion all recommend the same thing when it comes to regular exercise: American adults should aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week.
Should You Train Before Bedtime?
A Japanese study found that if you exercise at night you will be less tired the next day. Apparently it increases testosterone levels.
Bodybuilding Sins That Cause Back Pain and Missed Workouts: Part 4
Welcome to article number 4 in our series "Bodybuilding Sins That Cause Back Pain and Missed Workouts". In this article we are going to talk about how bodybuilders tend to create massive muscle imbalances and what you can do to not be one of them.If you missed the first article, you can read it by clicking on the link below.Here's a breakdown of the articles to look for:1. Article:1 - Choosing The WRONG Exercises 2. Article:2 - Training Variations for Pain Relief and Maximum Results 3. Article:3 - Targeted Stretching 4. Article:4 - Targeted Exercises 5. Article:5 - Rest, Recovery, and Injury PreventionArticle:4 - Targeted ExercisesWhat is a Targeted Exercise and Why You Need To Be Doing Them?While performing three different exercises for each area of the chest may sound "targeted" and it may work great for targeting the chest itself? this is NOT what we mean by targeted?What we are talking about is choosing exercises with more than just size increases in mind? remember, there is far more to muscle than just how it looks? You can be really big, but also weak, slow and inflexible.To drive this point home some more, remember the "Turtle Back Syndrome" we covered in article #1? So many body builders are plagued with this gruesome condition and they don't even know it! Are you?The Turtle Back condition is a direct result of too much focus on building up the pecs and lats and not enough focus on the upper back. Also, the lack of focus on flexibility in the chest and shoulders makes it even worse?Not only does this look stupid, but it sets you up for back, neck and shoulder problems like rotator cuff tears and the like? and I know you don't want any of those!So by targeted, we mean exercises that will not just develop muscle strength and size, but more importantly work towards correcting muscle imbalances which will mean less pain and missed workouts, better performance and function, and most of all better and balanced total body development!So How Do You Find Out Which Ones You NEED To be Doing?As we discussed in the previous article on "Targeted Stretching", it's very important to know before hand what stretches you actually NEED to be doing? the same applies to exercises?and the ONLY way to find out what specific areas you need to target is to perform physical evaluations so you can pin point the weak muscles that need strengthening and the tight muscles that need stretching.We have developed a series of simple assessments you can do yourself to identify the muscles imbalances you have?and while they are intended for people suffering from back pain or sciatica, as a bodybuilder you stand to benefit greatly because you train so hard, you are far more likely to experience injuries like bulging and herniated discs, rotator cuff tears, knee pain, etc?Plus, even if you don't have any pain or injuries now, it would be very wise to learn how to assess yourself so you can target your training now before you create an injury, which not only will slow down your training and progress, but it can also become a life-long struggle with pain and a serious loss of your strength, size and fitness.So be sure to check out our website to learn more about how you can quickly and easily identify and eliminate any muscle imbalances you have.
The Benefit of Back Exercises
Back exercises are often prescribed effectively as an alternative to surgery. Doing daily back exercises can significantly reduce back pain related to a variety of common ailments. However, not every exercise is appropriate for some conditions and certain back exercises may even make the problem worse. This is why it's important to check with your doctor about which exercises will help or hinder you.
Are you in an exercise rut? Do you want to kick your fitness level up a notch and increase your endurance? Would you like to add more intensity to you workout? Interval training is a good way to achieve all of these goals in a safe and systematic manner.Interval training is simply a matter of alternating high intensity exercise and low intensity exercise. It allows one to get the benefits of the high intensity work while giving the body some rest time. It allows one to extend a workout time period and build endurance gradually.Running on a flat surface burns calories and gives your heart and lungs a great cardiovascular workout. Running up hill challenges your muscles, heart, and lungs, burning more calories and providing additional toning. But taking a 30 minute run up hill or on a steeply inclined treadmill would quickly exhaust most of us, or likely force us to stop early. However, running up hill then back down, or up hill then on flat ground would allow for high intensity work counter balanced by intervals of slower periods of active recovery. Interval training burns more calories and pumps more blood than continuous lower intensity exercise because it includes intervals of energy and oxygen-hungry work.Because interval training burns a lot of calories and provides good muscle work, it may help you save time. A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of bricks. Likewise, running one mile burns the same number of calories as walking one mile. But walking one mile takes a lot more time. If your goal is calorie burning and toning, and you are short on time, then interval training does more, faster. Just remember that improving cardiovascular health requires aerobic exercise of 30 ? 60 minutes, so don't make all of your workouts quickies, save those for when you're in a rush. Interval training can also be helpful if your goal is to move yourself up to the next level of endurance and fitness. Maybe you have been trying to start a running program, but can't seem to maintain such a demanding exercise. Interval training is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to train the body. Marathoners commonly use this method to train for an up-coming race. A good program is to run for 4 minutes then walk at a good clip for 1 minute, or do a 3/2 interval. Your body will work hard then rest (while remaining active), work hard then rest. Your heart, lungs and muscles will make the transition to running, running farther, or running faster in a safe and productive manner. There are a lot of ways to add intervals to your workout. If you are already a runner add hills or speed segments. If aerobics classes are your genre, add explosive moves like jumps or sprints. Include segments of speed walking in your normal walking routine or take the incline of your treadmill up a little higher at timed intervals.Interval training is productive and can add excitement to your ho-hum exercise routine. Doing interval work in place of your normal routine, once a month, once a week, or once a day, is a good and effective plan. E-mail me if you need suggestions on how to intensify, endure and enjoy. You'll be glad you did.
Sets And Reps - The High And Low Weight Workout
Big weights! Wicked pump! I always get caught between two minds whenever I hit my workout at the gym. One side of me says to lift heavy to get big and the other says that form should matter more than my weight poundage. This is an issue that used to cause me to get quite twisted every time I would prep a workout training cycle. I know each technique has its merits, so I used to be swayed back and forth never staying with either method long enough to see the results. With the low weights I get to move some decent poundage's and my ego gets gratified but alas, there is no killer pump. When I stick to the perfect form method with lighter weights I get great pumps but I never feel like I am really working hard enough to get anywhere because my weights are so light. So in my search for the perfect weight workout, I decided to combine the two methods and get the best of both worlds.
Try Different Forms of Exercise for Success
If you have always used free weights, then switch it up and try training with machines like "Hammer Strength" or "Nautilus". These are excellent weight resistance machines and they will really work your muscles from different angles and different intensities. You should always strive to find new and exciting ways to workout your body. Try doing all body-weight movements, which are a really great way to build quality strength. The military uses mainly body-weight movements during their training. These include pushups, situps and pullups. The three main body-weight movements will really give you a great overall body workout!
Arthritis Exercise ? One Way to Relieve Pain & Stiffness in Your Joints (part 2)
Even when you cannot make it out to walk or to an aquatics or yoga class, there are exercises you can do daily to improve flexibility, strength and conditioning when you suffer from arthritis. You can flex your legs while sitting in a chair facing forward, simply by moving your leg outward while keeping your foot on the floor and holding it there for a few seconds, then retracting it until your foot is behind you, then alternating to the other leg. Interlocking your fingers and slowly flexing your wrists to the left and the right for a few minutes a day can help tremendously to increase flexibility and reduce pain in the wrist area.
Tai Chi, NOT Chai Tea!
Those of you that have either completed a one-on-one program, purchased an on-line program or have read anything else that I have written in the past have most likely determined by now and realize it is quite evident... I am a huge supporter and advocate of integrated and phase-based training as optimized methods of health and fitness technologies/systemologies. And it wasn't until I started researching Tai Chi as an alternative form of exercise (I have been exercising for three-and-a-half decades consistently) did I understand how such a slow-velocity activity can help decrease blood pressure, reduce stress, help develop a greater degree of coordination and diminish the number of falls experienced by the elderly. The affects of resistance and aerobic type activities and their impact on health is unequivocal. Resistance training improves strength and the development of lean muscle mass, as well as an increase in bone-density and cardiovascular training improves the efficiently of the heart, lungs and circulatory function while decreasing mortality rates. However, over the past few decades, Eastern practices such as Tai Chi and Yoga have complimented mainstream fitness training programs by demonstrating comparable health benefits to traditional fitness training. A closer look at Tai Chi is warranted and yes this is coming from a fitness coach who intrinsically knows and has meticulously practiced and has been the recipient of the absolute benefits of weight bearing exercise for over 30 years.
Doing vs. Performing: The Difference Between Exercising and Getting Results
Back when I was young and living on my parents' farm, there always seemed to be plenty of tasks that were reserved for the low man on the totem pole. And you guessed it. That low man was me. Picking up and piling sticks seemed to be one of my dad's favorite tasks for me, and quite frankly, it was one of my least desired jobs to do. Funny how that works. Anyway, every time my dad would tell me to go out and complete one of these undesirable tasks, I would respond with the requisite whining, complaining, and carrying-on that usually comes from a young person who is having to do something he/she doesn't want to do. Nonetheless, I would slump off and begin my task, usually in a half-assed manner. Then I would rush in and tell my dad I had completed my task. He would go out, check it, and 9 times out of 10, he would make me go back and redo, complete, or what-have-you some of aspect of my job. He would always tell me, "It is much easier to do it right the first time." This is a lesson that did not sink in until some years later. Now, however, I fully embrace my father's philosophy, in part, because on a daily basis I see the same issues/attitudes I had as a young person showing up in how people approach their exercise programs.
Top 10 Exercise Mistakes and How To Fix Them
This is a list of ten common mistakes made during exercise. Quite often the exerciser and even the personal trainer or coach is unaware of these mistakes, decreasing the effectiveness of the exercise and even risking injury. This list describes each "mistake" but follows with a suggested "correction". You may find this list helpful in grading yourself or even your personal trainer.
Yoga traditionally conjures up images of long hair, loin cloths and incense burning in a darkened room with strange music playing! It had an almost cultish persona. Nowadays your gran is quite likely to tuck her Yoga mat under her arm and head on down to the local gym for an hour of Yoga and meditation. Yoga is coming out of the darkened room and is being embraced in it many forms by old and young alike.
Super Charge Your Metabolism
1. Cardio in Combination with Strength Training- If you need to combine your cardio with Strength training then do your Cardio AFTER your Resistance Training workout. You need that extra energy for the Hi Intensity Strength training and you also want to pump blood into your muscles after you have just broken them down from a heavy resistance training program... So Pump it up first then do your Cardio.
Performing Potentially Dangerous Gym Exercises
How do you know that the exercises you are performing are safe? Found below are some potentially dangerous exercises with suggestions on how they should be done correctly or avoided completely.
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