If your Workout Progression has Stalled, do These Five Things Immediately

Woman on the squat wrack

Doing the same old thing will stall your weight loss progression

The same exercises daily result in boredom and body adaptations. If you do the same thing repeatedly, expecting different results, you will be disappointed. As Einstein said, that’s just the definition of insanity. Most of the time, we get stuck in our safe little comfort zone, with the exact weights and exercise. It may seem easy, and it may not require too much effort. When you train with the same weight week in and week out, your body adapts to the resistance. Therefore, gains and strength will not increase. You are no longer challenging your body. Therefore, it cannot progress towards the next stage. There are many ways to change your exercises to benefit from the particular activity or stimulus. I will provide you with some options to beat boredom and plateaus.

One: Vary your exercise intensity and activity

Some days, train with heavier weights, then do high reps with low weight. You can add a different type of cardio, such as HIIT. HIIT is highly recommended above any other exercise for fat loss. Throw in a bit of walking and maybe a bike ride. Change it up constantly so that your body is always guessing, and you will always make strides towards your fitness goals. Plus, you will look forward to your workouts rather than dragging your feet. 

Two: Take training outdoors

For a bit of variety, change your scenery and train outdoors. Find somewhere that has stairs, space and maybe a running track. Perform some HIIT sessions on the track, run up the stairs, or even use resistance bands. Grab some friends and encourage one another to do better. You won’t even notice the time because of the fun you had.

Three: Circuit training

Circuit training gets the sweat going and challenges your whole body. You can create one program focusing on the lower or upper body — maybe try out a full-body circuit. The trick is to do as many reps and sets as possible without a rest in between the exercise. Resting is only permitted at the end of a full round. After that, you can include 5–6 different exercises. This will break through a workout plateau. Change it up from full-body one day to the lower and upper body.

Four: When training with weights, vary the tempo

Tempo training can assist you when the weights are not as heavy. You can do eccentric (lowering) or concentric (lifting) movement workouts, recruiting different muscle fibres. To give you an example, let’s use the biceps curl. Instead of focusing the tempo on the lowering movement, swap it out and focus on the lifting. You slowly lift the weights and quickly bring them down; keep that up, and feel the burn! Try this out regularly to alter your workouts if you want bigger guns.

Five: Lengthen or shorten your rest periods

My advice would be to lengthen your rest periods (1 minute to 1.2 minutes) if you would like to focus on lifting weights for strength. That means your one-repetition maximum will have to be heavy, and you should be performing 1–4 reps of this, needing over a minute’s rest. Your body will need that extra time. If you want to burn body fat and increase your gains, shorten your rest period. Work with 2–3 exercises back to back, and smash it out. Make sure your weights aren’t as heavy. The trick is finding the sweet spot. You have the correct weight if you can do around 8–12 repetitions.

Key take away

As with food, workout variety is the spice of life. I don’t know of anyone who’s not bored out of their brain doing the same thing day in and day out. We all need a little bit of motivation, and altering your workouts will help you excel at your current expectations. Remember that we only experience growth when we struggle a little. The same rule applies to exercise. I urge you to use some of the strategies above to guide you towards improving strength, increasing hypertrophy, and further accelerating fat loss.

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