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5 Tips to Overcoming Your Fitness Plateau

December 22, 2021

It happens to everyone — you’re on a new fitness plan that is working well when suddenly you hit a plateau. Hitting a plateau while training is completely normal, so don't get too down on yourself. You also may not overcome your plateau for a little while, which is okay too! We’re here to show you some techniques that can help you overcome fitness stagnation. Let’s get into a few recommendations from one of the top gyms in Pittsburgh, PA — X Shadyside.

What Causes Fitness Plateaus?

Depending on your workout routine and personal health goals, plateaus can come at different stages

Spin X trainer at X Shadyside
Struggling to stay motivated? You are not alone!

If you’re relatively new to working out, then you probably remember those first few weeks of progress. When you go from limited physical activity to training, results come very quickly. However, oftentimes you will start to see fewer obvious results as your body adjusts to regular workouts. The more often you go to the gym in Pittsburgh, PA — the more your body naturally adapts.

This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “general adaptation syndrome.” To put it simply, even if you are closely following your training program and doing everything right, you can still hit a plateau. In some cases, this might be a time for you to consider upping the intensity or frequency of your workouts. For others, however, it could be a sign you aren’t giving your body enough time to recover. But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at some ways you can overcome your fitness plateaus. 

Tip #1: Start by Making Small Changes to Your Exercise Routine

You can always consult a trainer at a gym in Pittsburgh, PA before making any big changes to your routine

x shadyside training photo
A personal trainer can give you expert advice on how you should change your workout routine.

When you reach a plateau in your fitness, the first thing you can try is changing a few aspects of your routine. By making some simple changes, you can refresh your old workout routine and even focus on exercising currently underutilized muscles. By making these changes you’ll start seeing results again in the future. If you’re unsure of which changes you should make, consult a trainer at a top gym in Pittsburgh, PA like X Shadyside. 

If you have stopped seeing results, it could also be a sign that you need to increase the intensity of your workouts. For example, if you are weight training, you can try increasing the weight on your machines or free weights for a few sessions and see how you feel.

Tip #2: Incorporate More Strength Training Exercises

If you’re on a cardio-heavy workout plan, more strength training will be beneficial for pushing through a plateau

X Shadyside training photo
A strength training class is a great way to break out of your comfort zone.

For many people looking to lose weight, the go-to option to shed some pounds is by doing lots of cardio. Cardio is great for a number of reasons, but it is easy to hit fitness roadblocks when you are no longer seeing results. 

To work through your fitness slump, try integrating more strength training into your routine. Strength training is proven to increase your endurance, improve mental health, and make you feel overall more confident while you’re working out. You may even want to sign up for a HIIT workout class at a gym in Pittsburgh, PA. 

Tip #3: Reexamine Your Nutrition

Good nutrition is key to getting in a great workout

young woman in workout clothes chopping green vegetables
Your nutrition impacts both your physical and mental health.

When you workout your body burns calories, also known as the fuel from the food you eat. If you're not practicing good nutrition, you’ll start to feel it in your workouts. In order to stay on track, you need to make sure you are getting the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, iron, and a whole host of other nutrients. We recommend reexamining your diet and jotting down any habits you may need to change. When you start eating better, your workouts will feel better too. 

Tip #4: Stay Hydrated

Your muscles only work properly when you stay hydrated before, during and after your workout

woman drinking water out of water bottle during workout
If you're hitting roadblocks in your workout, it could be due to dehydration.

Your hydration level impacts your body in a similar way to the food you eat. If you aren’t practicing healthy hydration habits, you will be able to feel it in your whole body. Proper hydration is even more critical to a productive workout, as even mild dehydration can lead to exhaustion. It is recommended that you drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day to stay hydrated. If it’s a particularly hard workout day, your body may require more water than the general recommendation. 

Tip #5 Make Sure You are Getting a Proper Amount of Rest

Recovery allows you to push yourself further and break through your fitness plateaus

waking up refreshed
Rest can help you reset and get over your exercise slump.

Sometimes, fitness plateaus can occur due to exhaustion. Exhaustion occurs when you are completing difficult workouts without proper rest time in between. When it comes to exercise, more is not necessarily always more. Without allowing yourself the proper amount of rest between workouts, you’ll end up wearing down your body and your mind. Not only will proper rest help you feel better and get you ready for your next workout, it also allows time for your muscles to grow. 


If you’re still stumped on how to overcome a fitness plateau, contact X Shadyside. As one of the top gyms in Pittsburgh, PA, X Shadyside offers a variety of classes that can help you stick with your push through a rut in your fitness journey. Whether you are interested in personal training, group fitness classes, free weights, cardio equipment, or TRX suspension training, X Shadyside has you covered. Learn how to become a member at one of the best boutique gyms in the city today!

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