An amazing thing happens as you continuously challenge your body. It adapts.
This is a good thing insofar as this adaptation allows you to become proficient in whatever it is you’re trying to do. You’ll master a move. You’ll lose weight. You’ll sprint faster. But then, at some point, your progress will stall.
You may not be able to get past a certain weight. You may not be able to shave off any time from your run. You may find your endurance short-circuited.
First, pat yourself on the back. This means you have practiced enough to get your body into a groove and you’ve been faithful in your endeavors. This is not the time to get discouraged or throw in the towel! Nor is it the time to keep doing what you’ve been doing and hoping that something will change. Einstein called that insanity.
No, it is time to get creative.
When you’re on the edge, you need to find a way to leap over the chasm and continue on the other side.
Maybe you need to cross-train. Take a break from what you’ve been doing and try something else, maybe something even completely different. Been running? Maybe you need to get your cardio on the rowing machine, or swim, or take a dance class! Been lifting weights? Do body-weight workouts and plyometrics.
And a note to those trying to lose weight: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that harder and more is going to help. There is of course a chance that you think you’re working out to your limit when reality is you are slacking, and if that’s the case yes, do more High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), lift heavier or pick up the pace for the endurance sessions. However, if you’re finding that your workouts are tiring and productive, take an honest assessment of your food intake. Don’t think that less is best. You could be under eating; snacking too much; eating too big portions at meals; drinking too much alcohol OR too many sugary juices, sodas and caffeinated drinks; eliminating food groups essential to bodily function.
More than likely, when your body plateaus, your mind does, too. Know that the ball will roll again if you mix things up and stick to it! If you change your routine, even for a week, you present your mind with new challenges to overcome, and give your body new tasks to master. And before you know it, you’ll have cleared the divide and be well on your way to accomplishing your goals.