MoveWell Health and Fitness


What Leads to a Workout Plateau?

Everybody has been there before. You are always in the gym, eating all the right food, lifting weights, and staying consistent with your healthy lifestyle. However, as time passes, you realise that you are not progressing as quickly as you once did. It is common for all levels of gym goers to bump into a workout plateau. You may notice that you are not running at faster speeds, increasing your endurance, or gaining muscle despite maintaining and sticking with your exercise routine. You may feel frustrated or even aloof as a result. Luckily for you, We are here to present the different ways to overcome a workout plateau so you can continue progressing with your fitness goals.

In this article, we will be going over the different reasons why people experience workout plateaus and how you can break out of them the right way.

What exactly is a workout plateau?

A fitness plateau occurs when the progress you have been making, such as weight loss, building muscle or gaining strength, has stalled or stopped despite your fit and healthy lifestyle. Beginners tend to see rapid results over the first 12 months. Their bodies may have not been trained in the past, so the advent of specific training and new eating routines net fast gains. The good news is that everyone experiences this type of phenomenon. It is perfectly normal for any gym goer to go through this. When your body adapts to the demands of your routine workouts, you reach a plateau. You cannot continue to progress at the same rate forever. The human body does not operate that way.

Nonetheless, as you advance, there is less for your body to do, so you naturally stop showing signs of progress. You may become unmotivated and bored or lose the desire to exercise when you reach this point. We recommend viewing these plateaus as positive in order to overcome these emotions. They indicate that you have made so much progress that it is time to try something new. To continue to improve and break through a fitness plateau, you can take a look at the tips we have listed down below.

What causes training to plateau?

If you want to break out of your work plateau but are unsure of what caused it in the first place, you first need to take a good look at your daily routine. We have listed down the main possible causes training to plateau:

  1. Not getting enough sleep

Sleep and your active lifestyle should go hand in hand, meaning sleep deprivation can sabotage your fitness training. Always do your best to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night to keep hormones that signal hunger in check. Inadequate sleep also reduces your likelihood of having the vital energy to go to the gym and rest your muscles so your body can recover properly. Your sleep schedule should be prioritised since it can either positively or negatively impact how you can progress with your fitness program.

  1. You are unsure of the changes you need in your workout

Everyone, regardless of fitness level, must periodically modify their fitness plans in order to achieve consistent workout results. However, many individuals do not know or are unfamiliar with how to adjust their workouts to maximise their benefits. Browsing the internet and visiting the most popular fitness websites are good starting points. However, be wary of misguided information. There you will find suggestions for overcoming a workout slump. Where should modifications be made? Try altering your sets, reps, weight, exercise type, intensity, or workout duration.

  1. You do the same workout over and over again

Experts recommend switching up your exercise routine every two to five weeks, depending on your fitness goals, to maximise results and avoid an exercise plateau. As we mentioned earlier, plateaus occur when the body begins to adapt to the demands of your exercise regimen. Once your body adjusts to a fitness routine, it is unlikely that you will experience many benefits until you make modifications that force your body to move and work in new conditions.

  1. You may need a trainer to guide you

Consider enlisting the assistance of a personal trainer if you’ve exhausted all other options to break through your workout plateau. Even if you cannot afford a trainer on a regular basis, periodically scheduling a session with a trustworthy trainer can provide you with new ideas, improve your routine, assist you in developing a plan to achieve your fitness objectives, and hold you accountable for your workouts. The other option is to join a small group personal training studio. Here you will receive the benefits of a personal trainer, at a fraction of the cost of 1:1 PT sessions. 

How to break through a workout plateau?

  1. Making big changes to your workout routine

Performing the same workout routine on a daily basis is one of the primary causes of a workout plateau. Not only can it affect results, but it also decreases your likelihood of remaining motivated in the gym. It soon becomes monotonous and a chore. By performing the same workout every time you go to the gym, your body will eventually adapt to its intensity and stop burning as many calories; this is known as reaching a plateau.

Give your body a new task to perform. Devote some time to learn how to adapt to new exercises and movements. Try a new sport, activity, or exercise class to give yourself new challenges. Utilise a brand-new weight machine or hop on a treadmill, rowing machine, or elliptical trainer. This allows you to utilise various muscle groups and movement patterns, preventing overuse and injuries. Moreover, you may appreciate a change of scenery.

  1. Increasing the intensity of your workouts

Your body continually adapts. This is one reason you lose weight, gain muscle, and become stronger. Your body is forced to adapt to the pressure exerted by your workouts. However, this can ultimately come back to bite you. The easiest way to overcome a plateau is to force your body to work harder rather than for longer. To shock your body, increase the weight and decrease the number of repetitions.

Instead of performing 10 to 12 reps with a lighter weight, perform 6 to 8 reps with a heavier weight. You must ensure that the weight you are using keeps your form intact. You should be able to maintain proper form for the majority of repetitions but struggle with the final few. This is a strong indicator that the weight is appropriate. Ensure you maintain proper form and breathing technique when lifting heavier weights for optimal performance.

  1. Be mindful of your diet and nutrition

Even though you put in a lot of work in the gym, a significant portion of your results come from your diet, so examining your nutrition is essential for breaking out of a fitness rut. It would be best if you were consistent with your diet and eating to support muscle growth to make progress. This involves consuming lean proteins for muscle growth, complex carbohydrates for energy, and healthy fats for hormonal balance, in addition to consuming an abundance of vegetables and fruits for micronutrients. Programs like EatWell, can assist with providing you a weekly meal plan designed for your personal goals and dietary requirements.

  1. Always get the rest you need to recover

Recovery time is necessary for rebuilding and repairing muscle tissue. Give yourself adequate recovery time between workouts, especially if you frequently engage in high-intensity workouts. When you push your body too far, it reaches a point of exhaustion, and no further progress can be made. In order to achieve your fitness goals, your body needs rest. Your desired growth is achievable with it. Since muscle growth occurs following exercise, sufficient recovery time is required. Take the time to eat well and relax your body.

  1. Take a good look at your lifestyle

You might be going to the gym five times a week and giving it everything you’ve got. However, it may be counterproductive if you combine it with weekends full of late nights, alcoholic beverages, and unhealthy midnight snacks. For starters, alcohol is an ergogenic substance, which means it hinders athletic performance and can lead to a plateau. So, a night of heavy drinking before hitting the gym is probably not the best plan of action.

Bottom Line

Congratulations on your progress so far if you’ve reached a workout plateau!  Take a good long look at your progress and future goals. When you hit a workout plateau, it’s an excellent opportunity to rethink your routine, try something new, and push yourself even further. Consider your eating habits, how much you exercise, and how many hours you sleep each night. You should remember that there comes a time when you reach your maximum or desired potential. After that, you can concentrate on keeping your current fitness level and developing new ways to exercise.

If you are in need of a personal trainer in Bentleigh East to help you break through your training plateau, then Movewell is the team you have been looking for! MoveWell Health and Fitness is one of the largest and most established outdoor Health and Fitness enterprises, providing dedicated outdoor and indoor training in the Murrumbeena, Hughesdale, and Bentleigh East region in the southeast of Melbourne. We offer a vast array of programmes that will help you lose weight, move effectively, and remain interested, motivated, and never bored. Though our group sessions are small in scale, you will form new acquaintances that will help motivate you to go back to the gym.