I have been weight lifting for about 8 years (high school excluded) and have experienced some really great gains since I began.
Related: My Fitness Transformation
What I have learned throughout it all, is that your body needs a break from the resistance training every so often.
Not only does your body plateau and you need to re assess your workout regimen, but also hitting the weights can lead to tight muscles, inflexibility, injuries etc. As someone who's still treating a hip flexor injury from more than three years ago. I know this better than anyone else (more about my injury here).
For the past year I have been doing all of my workouts at home since the Bahamas lacks the type of classes that I would normally take in SF😦 (Barry’s Bootcamp, Core Power, Pilates). I went from doing a different class everyday of the week and having all these fitness dates with my fitness boos, to being in a drought when it came to workout classes. I went from having this amazing routine with work, and working out with friends to now living in a new country where I didn’t know anyone at my gym and didn’t have tons of options. So home workouts it was.
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The results I have seen have been amazing for someone that isn’t as active as I was in SF. I cant fail to mention that I do eat really healthy but I’m not on a diet. I do indulge in cookies and Cadbury chocolate and the occasional Dairy Queen here and there. I do miss how strong I was looking when I was lifting. However, my body is thanking me for taking a break from pushing barbells around all the time.
When I first started my fitness journey I wanted to lose my body fat first and focus on getting lean before I started doing heavy lifting. A trainer advised me against it and as a trainer myself I totally get it, but I think what I did for a long time was just weight lift with little to no cardio, and that was my mistake. You have to workout for your body type!
Now that I’m only doing HIIT training I am really seeing the physical results that I’ve been wanting to see for a while.
Taking a break from the weights is so necessary (Jay Z voice) Why? Because your body needs a break and you want to avoid injury and let your muscles rest, since you are putting a lot of stress on them via the weights. Don't forget about giving yourself some downtime… It’s good to take a week or two out of the gym (This does not mean sacrificing intensity.) Try some new formats and go outside. Its good to re-assess your workouts every 8 weeks, and enjoy the variation. Working out shouldn’t be mundane.
Related: Pain Doesn't Always mean Gain
Don't forget to get the complimentary copy of my bodyweight program here