Blast Through An Exercise Plateau Effect With Three Simple Tips

Ever experienced an exercise plateau effect just when you were making progress in your workouts?  It happens to every one of us.  We work out, put in time and effort and next thing you know the muscle gains stop and the fat loss comes to a grinding halt.
From Plateau Point
Photograph Courtesy of John Kercher

It is absolutely horrible.  All the hours feel like it is gone to waste and as much as you put in more effort nothing happens.  So what are you to do to overcome a plateau effect?

  • Tip Number One: Get some rest and do not over train.  More often than not the reason why you have stopped making progress in your workouts is because you are over doing it.  Over exerting yourself with long workouts eventually take a toll.  Make your workouts shorter and do not be afraid to take a week off every three months.  If you can’t remember the last time you missed a workout then maybe now is the time to do so.
  • Tip Number Two: A good way to eliminate an exercise plateau effect is to try some new way of working out.  If you have been doing the same number of repetitions on the same piece of equipment then change it up.  Use a new piece of equipment you have never used before.  Been doing barbell bench presses all this time?  Okay, try using dumbbell bench presses this week! Switch it up and use what often referred to as “muscle confusion.”
  • Tip Number Three: Change the amount of weight you are using.  So many times we get used to the same weight being lifted. How many times have you used 20 pound dumbbells for your biceps curls? Well after many months of working out it is probably a good time to go up to 25 pounds.  If 5 pounds seems like a lot then just add a tiny bit more weight every few sessions.

It does not take much to trigger muscle growth and fat loss.  As you can see sometimes small changes in your workouts can shock your body and blast through an exercise plateau effect.  So take some time off once in a while and keep on challenging your body.


  1. Good tips on busting through a plateau. Rest and changing up a routine are two of the best things to do. However, I think taking one step backward (reduce the weight) to take two steps forward is another great strategy.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Hi Dave,
      That is another way to change it up. I sometimes use a lighter weight approach if I simply feel like pushing myself would be too much.
      Thanks for pointing out this approach.

  2. I find regular changes are needed as training experience grows … minor changing of diet and workouts every 4 weeks works best for me.

  3. Sam Munoz says:

    Hi Raymond,
    I know what you mean. The body needs tweaks and adjustments every once in a while. I have noticed that my body responds well if I change my workouts every 2 weeks. The important thing to do is to pay attention to our bodies. In reality the body is always telling us what we need to do.