If you’ve started on a regular exercise regimen, congratulations. In a day and age of constant busyness, too much work and not enough rest, and constant demands being made on us, it’s far from easy being able to carve time out of our jam-packed days to devote to exercise. So take pride in knowing you are investing in yourself for a return that is better than mere monetary wealth. Guard that precious time with such ferocity that you would make sure you maximise every 30 minutes to 1 hour you set aside to exercise. You don’t want to be wasting your time on something that isn’t effective or effectively used.
I have gotten a few emails from people who are expressing their frustration over a plateau in their exercise regimen. One of them has been consistently working out for 8 months but has noticed that she hasn’t gained any more muscle. The common culprit for this plateau is when the exercise routines are all the same all the time, that the body (your muscles) has come to anticipate them and is no longer challenged. It’s really important to mix it up so you don’t get bored with it, and your body is pushed to develop your muscles. This is totally normal and happens to many people. I remember struggling with it alone for a couple of years before I learned through my other fitness trainer friends about how to effectively change up my routines to keep my body guessing.
If you usually do barbell squats for your glutes, change it up on your next glutes day session by trying other routines like kickbacks, single leg bridges, or Bulgarian split squats. There is a wealth of information out there and online on different routines for certain muscle groups that you definitely can add to your arsenal and try out. One of the main reasons I think working with a personal trainer is your best bet in starting out (and why I promote it so much) is because they can help keep track of your muscle development, formulate varied routines for optimal muscle gain, plus (and especially if you’re a newbie) you have someone who can keep you accountable and push you to do just a few more reps when you feel like you can’t anymore. You never know how much more you can do or are capable of until you have someone who pushes you until you achieve it.
Think of it as eating the same thing every day. If you had only scrambled eggs for breakfast every single day for months on end, you’d probably get tired of it! You would also be missing out on other important nutrients you can find in other food like fruits, grains and bread. Not only do your muscles need the variety, but you will appreciate the change in pace and maybe even find a new relish for working out. Mix it up if you want to kick it up a notch and in no time, you’ll be able to see progress and gains again.