What To Do If You Hit a Plateau

May 02, 2024


Most of us face one common obstacle at some point in our fitness journey: hitting a plateau.

Despite consistently showing up and putting in the work, you may find yourself stuck in a rut where your progress feels like it's leveled out, and your goals seem out of reach. Whether you train to lose weight, build muscle, or improve your overall health, reaching a standstill in your progress can be frustrating and leave you feeling stuck or unmotivated in your fitness journey.

In this blog post, we'll explore why we hit fitness plateaus and share some strategies for overcoming them to get you motivated to get back on track!

What is a Fitness Plateau?

Plateaus result from when the body adapts to the current level of exercise and diet, resulting in a lack of progress.

If you find yourself hitting a plateau, it could be caused by anything from your muscles becoming accustomed to the same routine to your metabolism adjusting to your calorie intake. This could lead to a slowdown in the results you have gotten used to seeing.

Some signs that you are hitting a fitness plateau may include workouts feeling easier, lack of improvement in strength or endurance, and possibly a decrease in muscle tone or weight loss. Beyond not seeing physical improvements, you might also notice a lack of motivation, lower energy levels, and tiredness. (You might not have the desire to workout at all.)

So, how can you push through and get back on track?

How to Break Through the Plateau

While hitting plateaus in your fitness journey is normal, you don't have to stay stuck in one! Here are a few ways to start moving forward and breaking through a fitness plateau.

1. Switch Up Your Routine.

Because a plateau results from a consistent routine, switching things up is key to breaking past your plateau! There are a few ways you can go about doing this:

  • Change your workout routine by adjusting the intensity, duration, or type of exercises you do to challenge your body in new ways.
  • Try different activities, sports, or exercise classes to engage different muscle groups and prevent overuse injuries.
  • Reevaluate your daily macros and adjust your diet accordingly. (Try booking a session with a registered dietitian to ensure your calculations are accurate and safe based on your body's unique needs!)
  • Experiment with new rest and recovery methods, such as increasing sleep, including rest days in your fitness routine, or using additional rehabilitation methods.

2. Periodize Your Training Plan.

Periodization training is when you purposefully change specific training variables like workout duration, load, or volume over a specific period of time to achieve better performance for competition, prevent overtraining, and progress performance.

Talk with a fitness professional or personal trainer to learn how to plan your training to reach your goals efficiently and effectively!

3. Seek Professional Guidance.

Working with a personal trainer can help you to make serious improvements. They can create a customized training program and give fresh fitness ideas, insights, and feedback to help you grow. (Not to mention the extra encouragement, motivation, and accountability they provide!)

4. Take Extra Time to Rest and Recover.

Giving yourself enough time to recover after a workout is essential for helping the body properly rebuild and repair muscles, especially if you frequently do high-intensity workouts.

Since muscle growth occurs after you work out, you must have enough time to adequately recover. Focus on getting enough to eat and good quality sleep to attack your plateau from another angle and start making more positive strides in your fitness journey again! 

In Conclusion...

Hitting a fitness plateau is not the end of your fitness journey. Instead of getting discouraged, see it as an opportunity to reassess your routine, make necessary changes, and push beyond your comfort zone!

Using strategies like switching up your routine, adjusting your training plan, utilizing the knowledge of professionals, and prioritizing rest and recovery can effectively and efficiently help you break through a fitness plateau and continue progressing toward your goals.

Remember: Consistency, patience, and determination are key in navigating through fitness plateaus and reaching new levels of strength, endurance, and overall wellness!


Have you experienced a fitness plateau?

Share your experience and what you did to overcome it in the comments below!

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