How To Work Out At The Gym And Beat the Plateau


workout plateau breaker

One obstacle that many athletes reach during an intense and even extremely disciplined training regimen is the workout plateau.

This can come in the form of a strength wall that you can’t seem to break through, a ceiling on your endurance progress or a feeling of running out of energy during your workouts. Today, we’ll go over a number of things to consider to overcome workout plateau and keep you moving forward on your path to optimized fitness and health. Ask yourself if these are areas that you are

Ask yourself if these are areas that you are really taking seriously; any one of these areas could be the broken gear in the machine. The workout plateau definition means, you have not reached your ultimate maximum in any area of fitness, it is far more likely that there are holes in your game that you can patch up and keep moving.

Reexamine your game and consider whether you are taking all the steps necessary to optimize your routine. Is your routine stale?

Are you sleeping enough?

How is your diet really?

Let’s take a look at some of the common misconceptions and pitfalls that lead even the most disciplined athletes to hit the workout plateau effect.

overcome workout plateau

Top Tips Workout Plateau… Change up Your Routine

One of the most common reasons for a plateau in your strength training workout routine is that you’re doing the same things every week for every muscle group. Keeping your body guessing is one of the most critical things you can do to keep your progress moving forward. Whether you are the type of athlete who trains one or two muscle groups per workout, or who mixes it up for each workout, should be to NEVER be the type of athlete who uses just one of these methods all the time.

There are simple ways and more complex methods for keeping your routine fresh, but the number one principle to keep in mind: change your routine as often as possible.


One minor tweak that can make a big difference: change your grips around frequently. For example pull up stations often contain a variety of options for changing your grip and tweaking the angles at which you work your muscles. If you’ve been doing deadlifts cross grip, switch to a standard grip.

Next, change the format of your lifts. If you did a barbell version of an exercise in your last round of working that muscle group, switch to dumbbells, if you did bodyweight for reps, switch to weighted movements. Think about how you can change up some of your favorite lifts to work stabilizer muscles and other supporting muscle groups in conjunction with the typical lift. These will also make you stronger on the standard lift. Take these basic variations for example:

Chest Workout Plateau & Your Bench press:

Try, dumbbell press, incline press, decline, cable cross overs.

Workout Plateau Sports &Your Squats:

Try, front squat, speed squat, dumbbell squat, body weight squats for endurance.

Another effective change from your standard workouts involves combining complementary movements, which will provide a nice shock to your muscles. For example, if you are doing a push-up, follow this up with a row. Think push, then pull with the same muscles.

However, my favorite way of keeping things fresh is to use high-intensity interval training to combine different exercises and work your body’s different energy systems. For example; combine running, rowing or biking in between sets. Or, try performing one exercise during the rest time from another; this keeps your heart rate up and trains both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.


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Losing Weight Plateau 

If you’ve hit a plateau in terms of fat loss or body composition, chances are your diet is the culprit. If every other aspect of your training is on point and you’re still not moving forward in terms of cutting down to the size or shape you’re seeking, it’s time to get more serious about your diet.

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Workout Plateau Fixed


If you really think your diet is perfect, start keeping a log of everything you eat. EVERYTHING. This doesn’t mean write down the meals and skip counting the snacks and other little mishaps that can sneak their way into your day. One of the common mistakes seen here is guys that work hard in the gym and take their workouts very seriously, but think this gives them an excuse to eat whatever they want as long as basic protein and carbohydrate needs are met.

This is simply not true. If you’ve hit a wall in terms of trimming down, look closer at that simple weight loss diet. The truth is, pretty much nobody has a perfect diet and this is a huge area of opportunity for breaking through your plateau.

Believe it or not, used properly, cheat meals keep your metabolism burning. Using weekly cheat meals to manage cravings and prevent unfavorable hormonal effects of restrictive dieting can help you reach your goals.

Are you really sleeping enough?

Can you honestly look in the mirror and say to yourself that you’re taking the rest portion of your training as seriously as you should?

Far too many people out there think that training is all about being hardcore and constantly pushing and pushing, but the truth is, recovery is as much a determinant of your overall progress as your workout or diet. You grow when you sleep. So, if you want to grow, sleep more. Charge the batteries. Some people who hit the gym after work have a hard time falling asleep at night because they’re still jacked up from the workout.

If you fall into this category, try chamomile tea and make it strong. This may sound grandmotherly, but it’s a completely natural sleep aid and might help take you down a peg to get that 8-10 hours that your body really needs for muscle growth.

Get out of workout plateau

Stay Flexible for Growth

Another area that many lifters tend to lose track of is stretching.  Do you currently spend at least 20 minutes warming up and stretching before your workouts, along with using a foam roller and a longer stretch after your workout? If these seem excessive to you, you may well find yourself in this category.

The degree to which you stretch and keep your muscles flexible ultimately is a major determinant of your functional strength and let’s be honest, nobody is making progress while they’re out with an injury. Stretch, roll and warm up.

Measuring your progress, the right way

If you think you’ve hit a plateau, maybe it’s also time to look at how you are measuring your progress. Perhaps you’ve hit a plateau on your bench press max (this seems to be the most common way many athletes measure their strength progress).

If you are varying up your workouts, start keeping track of all the supplementary exercises you’ve been doing and consider these in your overall progress; chances are, you are moving forward more than you realize.

The most common reason for a strength plateau is a stale routine. By varying up your training routine as often as possible and thinking creatively about how you work your muscles and energy systems, you keep your body in a constant state of guessing.

While testing yourself on traditional lifts can be a useful way of tracking where you are at, bench press and squat should not be the only means by which you measure your progress.  Remember that your sleep is much more important than most people give it credit for; sleep for many seems to be a priority in concept more than in practice. Be honest with yourself, are you sleeping enough, are you really eating right and are you stretching?

How to deal with a Workout Plateau


If you’ve hit a plateau, take a step back, look at your routine critically and employ all the opportunities that you can to change up your workouts and keep your body guessing.

-Terry Asher

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Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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