Are You at a “Fitness Plateau?”

by Mimi Vanderhaven

Winter is the time of year when many of us rededicate ourselves to exercise and start eating smarter in an effort to lose pounds and inches. Putting down the chocolate cake and getting off the couch is easy for a few weeks, but making a permanent lifestyle change is something else entirely.

Then there are those who have already made lifestyle adjustments. These are dedicated, often highly competitive and successful people who work out regularly and pay attention to how they look and feel.  This story is for them.

“Many physically fit men and women – even those who work out every day – can find themselves stuck at a plateau,” explains Jeff Cook, personal trainer. “But the plateau is often an illusion, a self-imposed limitation.”

According to Jeff, the so-called plateau is the result of slipping into a comfort zone.  “In the world of fitness, the comfort zone is the enemy,” he says. “We have to constantly give the body different workout routines so it’s forced to adapt. This isn’t necessarily a comfortable process, but vital for progress. Change creates adaptation which results in progress and growth.”

One way Jeff is helping new and existing clients who are already exercising regularly is by offering a new program called Jumpstart. It’s an intense 45-minute workout three mornings each week with an optional fourth workout available on Saturday mornings. Jumpstart is limited to just six people whose workouts are overseen by a certified personal trainer – Jeff.

“Jumpstart is a completely different workout every session,” he explains. “It’s basically non-stop. You don’t waste time standing around chit-chatting. It will include a wide variety of exercises designed for those who are serious about raising their level of fitness. You’ll be actively engaged for 40 of the 45 minutes. There is very little rest.” With this kind of intensity, cardio is a given.

Jeff’s average client is a busy professional between 35 and 65 years of age, the Jumpstart program will likely attract a different audience, including athletes. A high level of tolerance to temporary discomfort is a prerequisite, Jeff adds.

Jeff also believes that these days there is too much emphasis on weight loss and not enough on fitness. “Those selling diets and substitutes for hard work have made a fortune by keeping people confused, appealing to those who continue to hope for lasting results with little effort,” he says. “They give conflicting advice year after year and they use weight loss as the only success measure. But it’s not only about weight loss; it’s about getting fit, losing fat and staying fit.”