By Jerome Boadu – Health Club manager, LivingWell Health Club
Unless it’s a welcome stretch of flat, even ground while running, a plateau is something to be avoided in your training.
In the fitness context, a plateau means ‘to reach a state of little or no growth’. This means you are no longer progressing and will remain at a stable level of achievement. As the term suggests, the results of your efforts have essentially leveled off.
The human body is designed to thrive under conditions of physical exertion. It is important to recognise that the human body is a complex organism and that over time, the body adapts to the stresses placed upon it. In this case, the stress is some form of exercise and the adaptation is the body gaining muscle, strength, speed, agility, flexibility, etc.
As a beginner, you can make progress with any type of program. As you become more advanced, you will witness the law of diminishing returns and ultimately hit a plateau. No matter what your sport or training objective, a stall in progress is caused for the same reasons.
If you're a regular gym user but not getting the results you would expect from your training, it’s time to mix things up. By constantly doing the same exercises, you're body will develop a tolerance for it, eventually adapting so that it has little or no effect.
To conquer this, we recommend introducing variety into your training sessions. Find the perfect balance between resistance training, cardio and recovery. At LivingWell, we offer a wide range of group fitness classes for this purpose. We promote our variety of classes to our members through class of the month, new release launch parties and quarterly group fitness marathons.
We also encourage our members to update their training programs every 6-8 weeks or as often as necessary. This is a service that we offer to all of our members, free of charge. Programs are specially tailored to each individual member by our Fitness Coaches and we proactively follow up with anyone who has not scheduled an update after the reasonable time frame.
Here are a few other quick tips you can utilise in your own training to avoid reaching a plateau:
• Increase the amount weight you use
• Increase the number of repetitions you do
• Change the rest time between sets
• Alter the speed of the exercise
• Increase the number of sets
• Vary the exercise
Remember not to become discouraged if your results do plateau. Clearly, you have been doing something right to reach this point in the first place. Stick with it as there are multiple resources available to you to help you get back on track. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Energy and persistence conquer all things’.
The LivingWell Health Club is free to hotel guests and open to club membership for busy city workers who need a little time out. Being exclusive to the Hilton Group with 90 LivingWell outlets worldwide, LivingWell members are able to take advantage of a host of other exclusive benefits. Membership packages start from $28 per week. Visit LivingWell at www.livingwell.com.au and on Facebook www.facebook.com/livingwellsydney for access to the latest information and promotions.
LivingWell Health Club, Hilton Sydney, 255 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
T: +61 (0) 2 9273 8800
Monday to Friday 5.30am – 9.30pm (last entry 8.45pm)
Saturday and Sunday 7am – 8pm (last entry 7.15pm)