Joseph W.
CT Certified Personal Trainer: Horizon Personal Training Centers


Why Did I Plateau and How Do I Get Back on Track?

4 Tips on How to Overcome Exercise Struggles from a CT Certified Trainer


What is a Plateau?

A plateau is a stall in progression through an exercise program. This most nearly means that they have hit a point where they are not getting closer to their goal and in some cases have gone backwards.

When an individual begins exercising for either the first time or even after a long hiatus, the increases in strength, endurance, weight loss and/or weight gain (depending on your goals) etc. that can be achieved in the first several weeks can be very motivating.

They have found the program that works for them, every week they are seeing tremendous results and they are feeling inspired. After a few weeks go by, the changes are starting to get smaller. They haven’t lost their motivation yet but they may be questioning what’s going on or why things are starting to get more difficult. Another couple weeks go by and they seem to have hit a wall and are struggling to move forward with their program. They, like so many do, lose the motivation to exercise because they feel that this is as good as its going to get for them.

If you have hit a plateau, do not be afraid, do not run away, DO NOT QUIT! There are endless possibilities as to what you can achieve!


Tip #1: Are you getting enough sleep?

 The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults, ages 18-64 y/o, get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Now we all know that it isn’t always that easy and there are those nights where we are staying up late, binge watching re-runs of our favorite TV shows, browsing through social media etc. and we have those nights where we either can’t fall asleep or just stay asleep.

Set a time every night where it is lights out, devices away, and TV off. Give yourself as much time in the dark as possible before you need to get up and start preparing your day ahead. Your muscles benefit more than you may think when you get an adequate amount of sleep. This is their real recovery and growth time!

Tip #2: Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating enough?

 You should be consuming 10-12 glasses of water per day at about 8-10 ounces per glass.

For the average person the USDA recommends consuming 2200-2800 calories per day for individuals who are between the ages of 18-64 just to maintain a semi-active life style.

If you up your food intake by about 400 calories of healthy fats and proteins your body will burn fat more efficiently and your muscles will recover faster during exercise.


~Ask our CT Certified Personal Trainers about Plateauing today!~

Tip #3: Take any WIN you can get!

 Keep a record every workout, set, and rep. Take that one rep increase in your workout. It’s more than you did yesterday so you are therefore stronger for it. Every workout, try to increase at least one number. By that I mean, number of sets, number of reps, or bump up the weight by a pound or 2.

Do you feel better than you did yesterday? Do you feel leaner than you did yesterday? Do you feel stronger than you did yesterday? Do you feel faster than you did yesterday? If you answered YES to at least one of those questions, TAKE IT!!!

Tip #4: Accept that there will be hard days and hard workouts!

 Having bad workouts or days where you just don’t feel as strong as you have in previous workouts are going to occur. The best advice I can give you when this happens is push through the workout as best as you can. Do not skip reps, sets or exercises that you have planned to do. Get through them and give 100%. There will be more days like this but you will have far more days where you feel stronger than the previous day.


 Make sure you are taking in enough nutrients and water throughout your day. These are going to get you through your workout and help you recover. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night to reinforce recovery time for your muscles to rest and grow. Take the small victories even if they are not your immediate goals. Positive are spiritually uplifting and if you have a positive attitude every workout will be a step forward no matter how good or bad it was.



Horizon Personal Training and Nutrition is home to CT Certified Personal Trainers who have various backgrounds and education.  Come meet with Joe and the other trainers here at Horizon! Call us today for a FREE consultation at 860.628.7776!