…And 👆 this is why I never post fitness pictures. 🙈 Mentally preparing myself for embarrassment to come.
First of all, posing for pictures without a shirt is downright awkward for me, and as an inherently derpy person, when placed in an awkward situation, my face will make the derpiest expressions ever. What am I doing there. I don’t even know.
Second, if you’ve read my (updated) bio, you know that my approach to fitness is not focused on aesthetics. Whether or not someone has abs is not inspiring to me, but if s/he can do handstands / pulls up / etc., 😍 I am soo impressed.
That said, the picture was taken this morning when I was feeling sore but freaking amazing 💁because yesterday, I did my first “real” workout in what has been almost two weeks. 🙂
A couple weeks ago, I decided to take a break from my usual circuit workouts because I was getting bored. Doing endless push ups or lots of reps of anything suddenty wasn’t aspiring to me.
There’s a general mindset in the fitness industry that if you don’t feel like doing it, “Just Do It.”
I sort of agree but also sort of don’t. I mean, if you hate doing yoga but force yourself to do it, then what’s the point of that? Doing something you absolutely hate is not a sustainable way to keep up with anything. You can challenge yourself to try to love it, but if you do it over and over and still hate it, then just stop because you’re making yourself miserable. ✋
My take on fitness is to find what you love doing, and when you do, being consistent with it is cake. 🎂 And when it comes to fitness, there are SO MANY OPTIONS. Lift weights, rock climb, hike, bike, swim, dance, whatever. So why limit your choices to stuff that isn’t fun? Fitness is aalll about fun y’all. Just find something you love and will keep you active.
As for me, well… I sort of like anything that prevents me from sitting on my ass (which is why blogging is so hard for me y’all)… But I know that I love doing yoga, I love doing plyometrics (basically a fancy term for jumping around like Tarzan 🐒), and I sort-of love cardio 😉 . So, two weeks ago, in the middle of doing clapping push ups in a workout, I was thinking, “Oh Fudge. What’s the point.”, I knew I needed to a change.
When you hit a plateau, it’s usually recommended that you up the intensity, which very well may be the case, but I think it could also be a sign for a break. 💆 Yes, I have days when my workouts are lower intensity, but I haven’t taken an actual more-than-a-day break from intense circuit training in probably a couple of years… My routine has just become a habit I had never thought about breaking. I was putting in so much work into my high-intensity workouts and still not seeing the results I used to.
It’s like how athletes and dancers have off-seasons. If you work out regularly and at an intensity that warrants it, you should have intermissions once in a while as well.
But of course, I did not just sit on my bum while on break. I channeled my energy into what I considered to be fun fitness: more yoga, longer cardio sessions, and basic strength exercises like chin ups and abs.
I’m glad I took the break. During the last two weeks, I ran for 60 minutes straight, which I hadn’t done in like 5 years. I did so much yoga like never before. I don’t keep track of time when I practice, but it ended up being 60-120 minutes of yoga every day. 😍 I never have that kind of “energy” for stretching and rolling around the mat when I do my usual circuit workouts. It was aaamazing. I felt so graceful and gentle and like a little butterfly. 👸
But yesterday, after two weeks of not doing any intense, high-repetition workouts, I woke up CRAVING clapping push ups. I was ready to feel strong again, so after a good breakfast, I went to the gym for a full body workout and killed it. 😀
Here’s the workout if anybody’s interested.
Full Body Circuit Workout [C1: B: C2: B] x 2
Circuit 1: 8 minutes
2×10 Goblet squats
20 Squat jumps
20 Bench dips
10 Decline push ups + side tucks
10 Push Up Burpees
Break: 1 minute.
Circuit 2: 8 minutes
Real dips (5 unassisted: 5 unassisted: 5 assisted)
Pull ups (3 unassisted: 10 assisted)
5: 5: 5 Clapping push ups
10 Tuck jumps + Ab tucks
10 Push Up Burpees
Break: 1 minute.
First do circuit 1 over and over until you reach the 8 minute mark. I did 2 rounds. Then move onto circuit 2. Then circuit 1 and 2 again, giving a total of 36 minutes, including breaks.
This workout was awesome, and I felt awesome afterwards. Before my break, I would do all these crazy workouts but never felt sore from them, but after this one, I was sore EVERYWHERE. 💪 🙂 After taking a break from then revisiting my routine, I felt like the times I first started being serious about exercise, when fitness was all shiny, new, and exciting. I feel like I’m being challenged again, whereas before the break, I was not.
This is just great because the holiday season is coming up, and I am sooo ready to sweat, so that I can enjoy all the extra sugar and fatty treats, and fck yeah, Christmas cookies (click for recipe haha).
Today, I also did a full-body workout similar to the one above. 😀
tl;dr When you’re working super hard but not seeing results, sometimes you just need to take a break, do other things, and revisit it! Disclaimer! This advice is probably only applicable to folks who have been working out regularly and need the break. If you are fresh to a fitness routine and lifestyle, don’t stop just yet and keep going. You can do it! 🙂
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! What do you do when you feel like you’ve hit a plateau?