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Getting Over a Training Plateau

The road to meeting your fitness goals is full of obstacles.  We’ve all encountered our share of set-backs, but there is nothing more frustrating than a plateau.  That’s right.  You feel like you are doing all you can, but just not getting results like you used to.  A training plateau is the body’s way of telling you that it has gotten used to the workout you’ve been doing.  Consequently, your body has stopped responding or responds very little.

 The best thing to do is continue working out.  Getting frustrated to the point where you quit is not an option.  Here are a few tips that will help get out of a plateau.  The F.I.T.T. model is a tool that is often used by fitness professionals when programming for clients.  It stands for frequency, intensity, time and type.  These are also the criteria you can use to add variety to your program in order to shock your body out of a plateau.  However; this method is not an invitation to just workout longer and harder.  To work your way out of a plateau in that way could lead to overuse injuries.  A better approach is to use all the criteria of the F.I.T.T. model interchangeably.  An example would include replacing your traditional cardio workout some high-intensity interval training.  A change like this one represents a change in intensity and type.  Replacing or supplementing your cardio workout with high-intensity intervals training for about 3-4 weeks will get you out of a plateau.  The following is a sample of a beginner sprint interval training program.  And although a workout like this represents about 15 minutes of work, it is very effective at burning calories and improving cardiorespiratory endurance. 



(Graphic from

 After getting out of a plateau, the key is to keeping your program fresh is to change your training methods every 4-6 weeks.  If you’re not sure how to safely add variety or intensity to your program, you can always consult a professional trainer for assistance.  The idea is to improve your level of fitness, not create additional health problems, so have fun and be safe.



Richard Baugh, BS, CPT




This article was provided by Tailor-Made Fitness
For more information on Tailor-Made Fitness, check out their full profile here.
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