10 ways to beat your gym plateau

Not getting the results you want? Don’t lose motivation – tweak your workout!

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1) Mix it up If you suspect that your body has become accustomed to your regular exercises, try variations. Swap lunges for jumping lunges, press-ups for explosive press-ups and planks for one-legged planks.

2) Same muscle, different move Make sure your muscles don’t get too comfy by working them with different exercises. If you’re used to pumping your pecs with a press-up, try switching to a bench press.

3) Get into intervals
If your cardiovascular workouts consist of interval training, you’re onto something good. But there’s no point in keeping the intervals the same forever. Make sure that you’re constantly upping the ante by shortening the periods of rest and increasing the intensity when it comes to sprints.

4) Time for change If you’re a lunchtime gym bunny, set your alarm for early morning workouts, and vice versa. Disrupting your body clock will give your muscles a wake-up call to get working again.

5) Stick it in reverse Too busy to devise a whole new plan? Just do everything that you do already… but in reverse order. It’ll make a nice change for both your body and your motivation.

6) Give it a rest
If you don’t give your muscles time to recover, they’ll reach a catabolic state, in which the tissue breaks down. This slows your metabolism and stops you losing weight and building muscle.

7) Drink up Glugging plenty of water is important. It’s good for the metabolism and helps transport oxygen around the body, assisting muscle recovery. Gym bunnies should drink an extra litre per workout.

8) Count on it
To rouse your muscles, perform as many reps as you can in a certain amount of time. For instance, instead of a set of 12 biceps curls, try as many biceps curls as possible in 30 seconds.

9) Ommm…
Stretching is essential – but yoga is one better. It boosts circulation, draws oxygen to the muscles, removes lactic acid and melts away the stress that causes muscle depletion and fat storage.

10) Eat up If you’re wondering why, despite being strict with your diet, you’re not shifting those extra pounds, it might be because you’re not eating enough. Your body is very clever, and when you’re not eating enough – particularly if you exercise – it will slow the metabolism right down. So eat a rich and varied diet every day.