Why am I not making training progress anymore?

Have you ever hit a point in your training where, despite your best efforts, you just can't seem to make any more progress? Welcome to the club! It's a place every athlete and gym-goer visits at some point in their journey. But here's the good news: You're not stuck there forever. Let's talk about why plateaus happen and how you can break through them, turning frustration into motivation and stagnation into growth.

First off, a plateau is a period where there is no noticeable improvement in your training. It can happen in weightlifting, running, yoga—any physical activity where you're striving to improve. Plateaus are a natural part of the training process, often signalling that your body has adapted to your current routine. It's your body's way of saying, "I've mastered this, what's next?"

If we look at plateaus in more granular detail, we can find that there are several factors that contribute to hitting a plateau:

What can cause a training plateau?

Repetitive Routine & Insufficient Intensity

Doing the same workout repeatedly can lead to muscle adaptation, where your muscles become very efficient at performing those specific movements and no longer need to grow or strengthen to accomplish them. To put it simply, if you're not challenging your body enough, it won't respond by improving.


Yes, there’s such a thing as too much training! Overtraining can lead to excessive fatigue, increase your risk of injury, and reduce your overall performance.

Nutritional Imbalances

Not fuelling your body correctly can affect your energy levels and recovery, impacting your ability to progress. Often, athletes and active people are under fuelling for both activity and recovery which can have drastic long-term consequences.

In fact, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) recently published a new consensus statement on the impact of Low Energy Availability (LEA) and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs) which we would highly recommend you read by clicking this link - here.

Lack of Rest

Recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Without adequate rest, your muscles can't repair and grow stronger. Mentally you can also carry large amounts of fatigue which can also contribute to training plateaus as well as negatively impacting your mood and energy levels too.

But hope is not lost…

Strategies to Overcome Training Plateaus

Mix It Up

Variety is not just the spice of life; it's also crucial for continuous improvement in your fitness journey. Try different exercises, alter your workout intensity, or switch up your routine every few weeks to keep your body and mind guessing.

When adjusting your training, try and adjust one variable at a time. The 3 key variables to consider are frequency, duration, and intensity. Changing more than one variable at a time might have the opposite effect to what you are looking for.

Adjust Your Intensity

Sometimes, all it takes is ramping up your workout intensity. If you're lifting weights, increase the weight or the number of reps and sets. For cardio, incorporate intervals or increase the duration of your sessions. But again, only adjust one variable at a time to manage your training load and progression.

Focus on Recovery

Are you giving your body enough time to recover? Incorporate rest days into your routine, and don't underestimate the power of sleep and proper nutrition in optimising recovery and performance.

Set New Goals

Reevaluate your fitness goals. Setting new, challenging goals can reignite your motivation and give you a fresh perspective on your training.

Track Your Progress

Keep a workout log. Tracking your workouts and progress can help you identify patterns, adjust your training plan as needed, and celebrate the small victories along the way. Speaking of workout logs and training diaries, we have an article on our knowledge hub to talk you through the different kinds of training logbooks and how to choose the best one for you. You can read these by clicking this link - here.

Incorporate Periodisation

Periodisation involves planning variations in training intensity, volume, and type over specific periods. This strategy can prevent adaptation, continuously challenge your body, and lead to sustained progress over time.


As I mentioned earlier, plateaus aren't just physical; they're mental and emotional, too. The frustration of feeling stuck can be demotivating and often it is other stressors in our life that can play a significant role in limiting our training performance.

So, it’s important to stay mentally fresh just as much as you need to be physically fresh to see that progress once again. Here's how to keep your head in the game:


Stay Positive

Remind yourself that plateaus are a normal part of the journey. They're not a sign of failure but an indication that it's time to switch things up.

Find Support

Whether it's a training buddy, a coach, or an online community, having a support system can provide encouragement and advice when you're feeling stuck.

Celebrate Small Wins

Focus on the progress you've made, no matter how small. Every step forward is a victory worth celebrating.

Be Patient

Remember, progress in fitness is rarely linear. There will be ups and downs, but persistence and patience will pay off. Consistency is key!


Hitting a plateau can be discouraging, but it's also an opportunity to learn more about your body, your limits, and how much further you can push them. By embracing plateaus as part of the process and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you can break through them and reach new heights in your fitness journey.

Remember, every plateau is a stepping stone to greater progress. Keep pushing, stay flexible in your approach, and let's turn those plateaus into launchpads for your next big leap forward!

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