Some days while I am working out, I feel like any challenge presented before me will be conquered! Then other days, like this morning, I feel like I have been set back months of training and I'm not sure why. While I was working out, I was working on some positive self talk to get me through the training, but it still took everything I had and then some to get through it. On the other side, I felt both a sense accomplishment for pushing through and a sense of exhaustion for squeaking by. It reminded me of something another trainer had once shared: We all need to have our strong days to feel good about ourselves, but the weak days are when we really make progress. If you don't push yourself to the point that training is uncomfortable, you won't see results. If you get into a rut with your training and you aren't coming out with sore muscles from pushing it; I'm afraid you have hit a plateau. Here are some ideas on how to push through a plateau:
1. Take a group class you haven't tried before. Group sessions challenge your coordination, give you a built in accountability system, and provide some healthy competition to push your own limits.
2. Start a new home based DVD program. Maybe you don't need accountability, but you need to be challenged with new exercises. Be cautious when starting one of these programs, find one that is just above your level of conditioning, not below and not too far ahead.
3. Use a website like www.fitstudio.com, www.ideafit.com, or www.acefitness.org and search the exercise library for new exercises or new workouts.
4. Find a sports team to join. There are lots here in San Diego County. Use www.govavi.com to find anything from soccer to tennis to kickball and even dodgeball.
5. I would be remiss if I did not mention finding a personal trainer. Find a trainer who has a passion for helping YOU in your situation. You want to ensure that the trainer has your needs in mind, not a one-size-fits-all training program.
I hope you enjoy your next workout and remember to push yourself past the pain. It will make you healthier amd stronger both physically and mentally.