How do I get past a plateau?

It is probably time for a change up. Tweak your exercise program first; your body needs a little shock to get it going. Then, introduce new foods within your dietary guidelines.

Eric Beard
Sports Medicine
There is a saying, "a good personal trainer can get a client off a plateau, a great personal trainer can prevent their client from ever getting stuck on one." You don't need a personal trainer to get results. You do however need to change your program every few weeks to keep progressing towards those goals. 

Instantly applicable tips;

1) Shorten your rest periods in between sets (try 30 seconds and use a watch to keep you on target)

2) Slow the tempo down on your repetitions (make each repetition take 6 seconds)

3) Try doing exercises back to back for opposite muscle groups. This is sometimes called a compound set. For example perform a chest press followed immediately by a seated row.

4) Do 2 minutes of cardio after every 3 sets of strength training. If you are a beginner, go easy, if you are advanced then sprint!

5) Do more repetitions and fewer sets

6) Do more sets and fewer repetitions 

7) Change equipment. Try dumbbells, exercise bands, cable machines, free weights or body weight.

8) Take 3 days off. You may be over training.

The body is an amazing organism and by adjusting our workouts just a bit every few weeks we can keep it guess and adapting. This is how we get results. Provide a new stimulus to the body, let it begin to adapt, then change it. Just like in school. When we got good at addition they sprung subtraction on us, then multiplication and so on. We kept studying math, but it was progressively different.  

Good luck with your program! 

Getting past a plateau often requires you to adjust your training program, however in terms of weight loss, plateaus are often the result of a combination of nutritional and exercise factors. If you have hit a plateau as it relates to performance (developing cardio endurance, maximal strength, or power), then you will likely need to adjust your training program. Adjusting your training program can be as simple as making changes to the types of exercises you are doing, or doing a complete overhaul on the program and incorporating different workouts of various intensities in order to elicit multiple adaptations once a certain fitness level has been achieved. If you have reached a plateau in terms of weight loss, typically it means that you have lost a certain amount of weight that prevents your body from burning as many calories on a daily basis than it had previously. If this is the case, you will have to find a way to incorporate greater caloric burn throughout the day or reduce your daily caloric intake. Weight loss plateaus can also be the result of your body adapting to the same type of training than you have been applying, therefore changing your program in order to create a greater caloric demand on your body will potentially help you continue accomplishing your goals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.