What To Do When You Hit a Fitness Plateau

An exercise plateau occurs when you stop seeing results. The same workouts that once had you exhausted and dripping in sweat don’t seem as challenging and you’re not losing weight or gaining muscle as quickly as you were in the past.

Although certainly less than desirable, it’s actually a common occurrence in fitness. Some symptoms of reaching a plateau are:

  • Not feeling as sore after a workout
  • Not as excited by your workout/loss of motivation
  • Feels too easy
  • Weight loss or strength gain seems suspended

If you’ve ever experienced these symptoms or encounter them at any point in your training, here are three quick and easy steps to help you break past that plateau:

Take a rest

Although movement and exercise is always good for the body, doing it too frequently can lead to overtraining. Your body needs proper time to rest in order to rebuild muscles that are broken down. Not getting enough sleep or training too frequently can inhibit this process and actually slow you down in your fitness progression. Take a couple days to a week off and come back renewed and ready to take on those workouts!

Grab heavier weights

One of the easiest ways to push past a plateau is to increase your weights. If you’ve at it for awhile, but continue to use the same 5 or 8 lb dumbbells, you’re going to stop seeing results after a period of time.

As you get stronger, your body requires more resistance and challenge to see results. Try going up a weight in dumbbells or any of our other weighted equipment and see how you do. If it’s too much, remember, you can always go back down. You’ll never know unless you try!

Challenge your paces

Cardio components such as sprints, rows, and burpees are great for getting the heart rate up. Always think about challenging your paces on these movements. Try taking your treadmill speed up a notch, aim for a lower pace on the rower, or push yourself to get one extra rep in those burpees or mountain climbers.

It’s pushing yourself just outside that comfort zone that will lead to better results and help you break past that plateau!


Remember, plateaus are a normal part of a fitness regimen and often require small tweaks to break through them. This is where most people tend to give up — where the results aren’t as quick or visible as they once were. As long as you continue challenging yourself, you’ll soon notice a difference and come out stronger than ever!

For ways to challenge yourself, make sure to check out our Reside Athletics programs with plenty of free or discounted class options to choose from.

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