How Do You Know if Your Workout Routine is Effective?

By Joe Scali on November 12, 2015 , categorized in Strength + Conditioning

workout routine

Do you find that you don’t have the same motivation to wake up early and work out that you once did?

Have you been experiencing a loss in strength, despite working out 5+ times a week?

Are you not getting the results you (or your training partners or coach) expect?

This is what we call hitting plateaus with your fitness. This is when you hit a period of time in which your body no longer produces expected results from your fitness or nutrition plan. Your body adapts to your routine and that routine no longer produces the desired outcome.

There are several reasons why you could be hitting a plateau:

  • Same routine everyday (not varied)
  • Overtraining (not taking rest days)
  • Not keeping it fun
  • Not eating correctly for your physical goals

My top ways to break through plateaus include:

  • Take rest days or a de-load week: This will give the body a chance to recharge and recover. It will also help you physiologically and keep you motivated to train.

You may need more than just a day. Consider taking a de-load week, where both the volume and frequency of your workout is decreased. Most training plans (for strength and conditioning, or endurance training) incorporate a lighter week every 3 to 4 weeks. If you’re creating your own training plan, don’t forget to incorporate lighter weeks after a series of ramp-up weeks.

  • Keep the workouts constantly varied: Regularly introduce new skills, exercises, rep ranges, intervals, drop sets, and sets to failure. Try playing new sports or going for a hike or bike ride versus always running on a treadmill as your cardio. All this will not only help us break through plateaus but it will keep it fun and motivating.

Need a new exercise or weekly routine? Check out the strength and conditioning training plan I developed with Vega.

  • Nutrition: If your training routine is perfect, then nutrition could be the missing part. You need to consume the correct amount of macro and micronutrients to achieve your goals, and allow your body to recover from strenuous workout sessions. Whether your goals are strength gains, lower body fat composition, or just achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle, you need to ensure you are eating enough nutrient dense foods that will help to promote recovery. Check out this guide to how to eat for recovery.

If you are not seeing results and working becomes more of a boring chore, you need to change something up. First try taking rest days, introducing more variety, and taking a closer look at your diet. If that doesn’t lift you off the plateau, I suggest seeing a certified fitness professional who can work with you individually to assess your goals and plan.

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crossfit gains recovery rest rest days strength and conditioning

Joe Scali

Joe Scali is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Vega’s Expert Panel. Owner and Certified Trainer at Semiahmoo Athletic Club Joe Scali grew up playing hockey and continued to play College Hockey at Cornell University and went on to play professionally in Texas. With his elite background in competitive sports and his passion for training, Joe pursued a career in the fitness industry. Becoming a personal trainer, he enjoyed helping people change their lives through fitness. His passion for training and vast experience in the fitness industry led Joe to open Semiahmoo Athletic Club. Joe is a CFP Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, TRX Certified Trainer, and Certified in Trigger Point Performance Therapy and Twist Conditioning.

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