September 26, 2023

How to overcome an exercise plateau and get back on track

Throughout the pandemic, there have been questions about how to implement effective physical training programs within our changing environment. 

The Academy of Sports Medicine reports, “regular physical activity and structured exercise are associated with numerous health benefits including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, some forms of cancer, and age-adjusted all-cause mortality, limiting various orthopedic injuries among others.” 

If you are participating in a training program after an injury, or are exercising for general health purposes, there are many factors that impact both short-term and long-term progress. These factors may include limited gym equipment, not having access to a fitness facility, or inability to workout due to a busy schedule.

Often, when individuals are not seeing continued progress in their training, their motivation to continue decreases. Once activity decreases, this could contribute to risk of reinjury, obtaining a new injury or overcompensating for problem areas, which can alter one’s ability to perform functional tasks with ease.

Whether you are performing a training program at home or at a gym, understanding how to move ahead in your workouts is a crucial step toward reducing risk for injury and continuing to progress. The following recommendations are for individuals who are healthy and uninjured. If you are currently injured, please see a physical therapist to determine the appropriate training program for your needs. 

Hold yourself accountable. Using a journal to help track goals and progress is one method to maintain accountability. Writing down how much you move daily is a useful way to monitor changes and to reduce procrastination in achieving your goals. If workouts are not being tracked, you may forget what exercise was performed in the previous workout or forget the specifics of that exercise. Having a journal and recording your sets, repetitions and weight will keep you on track so you can continue to see positive results.