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Overcoming a Workout Plateau

Overcoming a Workout Plateau


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You’ve been working out. One week you’re on a roll — you feel toned, and you’re progressively losing weight. The next week you feel like you’re not progressing even though it’s still the same routine that worked marvelously before. Don’t worry. It happens. It’s called plateauing.

Why the plateau?

When you first started your workout routine, your body uses various muscle fibers to achieve the movements, and so your muscles start to build. But over time, your body is used to the routine that it’s not requiring new muscles to complete it anymore. Thus, the plateau. To overcome it, all you need to do is to tweak your routine.1

Flip your reps and sets

Instead of doing 3 sets of 12 reps, why not switch to 12 sets of 3 reps? Rearranging reps and sets regularly could train your body to use muscle fiber differently, and in turn extending the life of your routine.2

Try something new

If you’re a regular in cycling classes, try boxing for a change. And if it’s always been just you and your machines, give a group yoga class a try. New exercises work your muscles and body in different ways, breaking you out of the plateau.3

Push yourself to the max, then rest

Work different body parts really hard three times a day for five days. Then take five days off to recover. The sudden and extreme changes in the routine would jolt you off the routine.4


Hitting a plateau is common. The bottom line is don’t let it bog you down and stop your workout altogether. Happy exercising!




  1. https://greatist.com/move/change-your-workout
  2. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/5-ways-to-long-term-fitness-success
  3. https://www.bustle.com/articles/65400-5-small-exercise-tweaks-thatll-get-you-dramatically-better-results
  4. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/change-it-up-7-ways-to-break-a-plateau.html

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Information provided in this article is intended for health and fitness purposes only and is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease (see Terms & Conditions for details). Any health-related information found in this article is available only for your interest and should not be treated as medical advice. Users should seek any medical advice from a physician, especially before self-diagnosing any ailment or embarking on any new lifestyle or exercise regime. Any information contained in this article may not be suitable, accurate, complete or reliable. Cigna accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on external websites or resources, or for the security and safety of using them. "Cigna" and the "Tree of Life" logo are registered trademarks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. in the United States and elsewhere, licensed for use. All products and services are provided by or through operating subsidiaries, and not by Cigna Corporation.

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