Expert Q&A

Workout results: Why do they plateau?

I workout regularly but have stopped seeing results.  What’s happening?

-Adam from New York

There are several potential causes.

Workout no longer challenging: no further changes

First, your body could have simply adapted to your current workout so efficiently that it isn’t challenged enough. As a result, you aren’t making any more gains. To solve this issue, periodically change your workout and include different exercises that challenge your muscles more.

Plateau due to diet

Next, check your diet.  At some point your exercise efforts are going to become moot if you don’t eat sensibly and cut fat.  Remember too, if you only have a few pounds to lose they’re going to be more persistent than if you have 30, 50 or more pounds to burn. Genetics can halt progress if it’s just not in your genes to be thin or lean.  Make sure you know you can get to a certain weight before insisting that your body is going to go there.  Have you been at that weight before?  Are any of your relatives?  It may be a fight – not impossible – but a very stubborn fight to battle with your genetic makeup.

No changes - could there be a medical reason?

Lastly, if you don’t feel quite like yourself, there could be a medical reason for the standstill.  Check with your doctor just to be sure there isn’t anything wrong.

Michele Silence, MA
Contributing Expert

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