9 Effective Tips For Overcoming Workout Plateaus

When your strength gains stall out, it’s important to take note. It’s not a sign that you should throw in the towel but rather an opportunity to try something new.

Changing up the weight, reps, exercise variations, rest between sets, and training techniques can help you break through a workout plateau and continue making progress.

1. Track Your Progress

Everyone will experience a workout plateau at some point. This is completely normal and can be a great opportunity to evaluate your training and determine if it’s time for a change.

It’s important to consistently track your progress so that you know when a plateau is occurring. Keeping a workout journal, fitness tracker app, or even a spreadsheet can help you stay on top of your goals and keep motivated to continue making gains.

It’s also a good idea to try different variations of the same exercises to stimulate the muscles and break through the plateau. This could mean changing your grip position on a bench press, or moving your feet a little closer together or farther apart when performing squats. These minor tweaks can have a big impact on your results. Lastly, remember to prioritize recovery by getting adequate sleep and eating well.

2. Change Your Routine

If you’re like most people, you have a goal in mind when you hit the gym. Whether it’s increasing the amount of weight you can lift or reducing your number of burpees, tracking and monitoring your progress is key to success. There are a lot of kettlebell sumo benefits that might interest you if you are into deadlifts.

If the progress you’re making in one area has stopped, it may be time to try something new. According to the ASFA, adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help you break out of a workout plateau by providing your body with short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity activity.

You can also change your routine by using different equipment or changing up the order of your exercises. Lastly, remember that recovery is important, so be sure to prioritize post-workout nutrition, rest, and self-care activities like foam rolling or getting a massage.

3. Incorporate Strength Training

To prevent plateaus, it’s a good idea to incorporate strength training into your workouts. Performing exercises that target multiple muscle groups can help ensure you’re building overall strength, not just targeting certain muscles. If you do choose to include full-body strength training, make sure to alternate cardio and weight lifting days so one doesn’t interfere with the other.

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a fitness plateau can be caused by overtraining, which is when your body becomes so accustomed to your workouts that you are no longer getting meaningful results. This can be a result of doing the same workouts over and over or exercising too hard without adequate rest.

Fitness plateaus are frustrating, but they’re totally normal and can be easily overcome. Use these expert-approved tips to help you break through your plateau and keep moving forward on your fitness journey!

4. Prioritize Rest

When you are constantly pushing yourself hard and smashing gym PRs, your body needs to rest to recover and rebuild. Without regular rest days, your muscles will never be able to reap the full benefits of your workouts.

Try taking a day or two off each week to give your body some time to recover and reset. This will help you stay motivated and avoid a plateau.

Another great way to break out of a workout plateau is to shorten your rest intervals. This will increase the challenge of your workout and burn more calories.

5. Prioritize Nutrition

There’s a reason the old diet adage says “abs are made in the kitchen”—your body needs proper nutrition to fuel its performance. Ensure you’re eating meals that are rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

Aside from protein, getting adequate rest is vital to muscle growth and overcoming workout plateaus. Aim for 8 hours of quality sleep a night to replenish your energy and promote lean muscle growth.

When you prioritize your health, you’re more likely to follow through on the goals and commitments that matter most to you. Review your schedule, and make sure you’re prioritizing time for your workouts, grocery shopping, meal prep, and other health-related tasks. By making your health a priority, you can reach your full potential. The key is to stay motivated and continue pursuing your fitness journey!

6. Implement Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is an effective way to boost muscle growth and overcome workout plateaus. The concept is simple: as you get stronger, you gradually bump up the intensity of your workouts to increase strength and prevent burnout.

One of the most obvious ways to implement this technique is by increasing the weight you lift. As a rule of thumb, you should aim to increase the weight by two or three percent each week. However, you can also manipulate other variables, such as repetitions or the amount of time under tension.

Be careful not to progress too quickly, as this can lead to injuries. Also, be sure to always focus on proper form. EvolveYou has a variety of training plans that will help you to successfully implement progressive overload. Choose the plan that best matches your goals.

7. Change Your Exercises

It’s normal to hit a workout plateau at some point during your fitness journey. That’s why it’s important to change your exercises regularly so that you continue to challenge your body.

You can do this by switching to free weights if you always use machines or trying a new exercise like push-ups instead of bench press. Switching up your routine also keeps your workouts fun and recruits different muscles groups.

Another way to change your exercises is by adding a metabolic finisher to the end of your strength training sessions. This will get your heart rate up and boost results. It’s also a good idea to limit cardio to no more than an hour per session, as long periods of cardio can interfere with your strength training progress. Try to keep your rest time short as well, as this will increase the intensity of your workouts.

8. Change Your Routine Order

You’ve probably heard the saying “order matters”—cleanser before serum, socks before shoes, toaster before avocado mash. It also applies to workouts. The order of your exercises can have a significant impact on how effective they are.

If you’re struggling to push through a plateau, try switching up the order of your exercises. This may help to activate your muscles in different ways and lead to more progress.

However, it’s important to note that when changing up the order of your exercises, you should usually do so at the end of a training cycle during a deload period. This will allow you to spend the next training cycle incorporating the changes and evaluating their effectiveness.

9. Change Your Exercise Variations

Plateaus are frustrating and can derail your fitness journey. However, they don’t have to last forever. In fact, they can be the perfect opportunity to make some changes to your workouts that will help you break through.

Try incorporating new equipment, switching up your routine order or trying out different exercise variations. For example, if you usually train with dumbbells, try using resistance bands or kettlebells to challenge your muscles in new ways. If you do circuit training, try adding in HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to increase the intensity of your workout.

Getting enough sleep, focusing on proper form, prioritizing nutrition, implementing progressive overload and taking a workout break when needed can all be helpful strategies for breaking through exercise plateaus. With the right mindset and strategies, you can conquer your workout plateaus and continue making progress towards your fitness goals!
10. Change Your Exercise Mechanics

Everyone experiences workout plateaus from time to time. However, it’s important to know that overcoming these plateaus is a completely doable process. By tracking your progress, incorporating strength training, focusing on nutrition and hydration, prioritizing rest, implementing progressive overload, and enjoying your workouts, you can break through your plateaus and continue making progress in the gym.

One of the most common reasons for a workout plateau is poor technique. Using proper form is critical for both safety and effectiveness. To improve your technique, consider working with a professional trainer or taking a technique-focused class such as yoga or Pilates. In addition, it’s also helpful to choose a training style that you enjoy so that you can stick with your program and prevent exercise burnout.