Feeling a Gym Plateau Coming On? 3 Ways To Get Past It

member and trainer at machine at Planet Fitness
When you're no longer challenged by your workouts, you may need to learn how to get past a gym plateau. Here's help!
by Lindsay Tigar

Congratulations! You've finally found your groove at the gym. This is definitely good news, but it could mean that you need a new challenge.

Now that you've conquered some of the hardest parts of working out — making it to the gym, increasing your strength, enhancing your cardio health — it's possible you'll hit a point where you no longer see results that are as noticeable. There's no need to worry, though. It's totally normal!

Thankfully, you can get past a gym plateau. Here's what you need to know to do just that.

When (and Why) a Plateau Typically Occurs

Everyone hits a gym plateau at different times. For some, it might come six-to-eight weeks after workouts become a consistent routine. For others, it might take several months! Once you hit a point where your body becomes accustomed to the routine (like the number of repetitions and miles you log, or the amount of weight you lift), it no longer has to work as hard, which tends to diminish results over time.

Like anything else, the only way to get past a gym plateau is to move your body beyond its new comfort level — safely, of course — until it learns to work in different, more demanding ways. And let's make one thing clear: You don't have to push your body past its limits to see results! It's all about strategizing new ways to make your workout routine more exciting for your body and mind.

3 Ways to Move Past a Gym Plateau

If you're looking for a new challenge, follow these three tips to make your experience more enjoyable. As an added bonus, these strategies can be super beneficial for your overall well-being.

1. Switch up Your Routine

Even if you've been sticking to the same treadmill workout for months and don't feel bored yet, your muscles might be. Consider the different ways you can get your cardio fix, like using ellipticals, rowing machines, stationary cycles, and so on. If you want to do a few days of cardio each week, try out a different machine each time!

This way, you'll still get your heart pumping, but your body will have a break from doing the same ol' thing. When that happens, your body can respond differently, since it can't predict the next movement. You'll engage various muscle groups and, more importantly, keep your heart (and mind) guessing.

2. Get Help from the Pros

Whether you're a gym newbie or you've been at it for years, one thing's for sure: You still don't know everything about fitness. That's OK! If you're struggling to move forward, consider working with a trainer. They'll know the best — and safest — exercises you can use to get past your gym plateau.

During these sessions, a friendly, knowledgeable trainer will customize movements that improve your form and design fun workouts with your goals and fitness level in mind. When you want to reach even higher, it helps to have a professional on your side who can push you to the next level.

3. Lean on Your Gym Buddies

Nothing motivates you to keep going like your loved ones, right? When you're feeling frustrated due to a plateau, try asking one of your friends or family members to tag along for one of your workouts. You'll most likely be so focused on having a good time (and rightly so) that you'll be less concentrated on the number of calories you burn or the miles you run. Plus, your friends may even encourage you to try something new and achieve new heights at the gym!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.