Fitness plateaus: what they are and how to avoid them

Author: Grow Team
Date: 05/11/2018
Category: Grow Row

If you’re a regular at Grow, you’ll know that our workouts change every day. One day you might walk into the studio and see a 10-minute row programmed to kick off the workout, the next you might come in to see a challenging “You go, I go” partner workout is awaiting you. We like to keep you on your toes!


Head Trainer Ben and the other instructors here meet every week to brainstorm new workouts, test new concepts and experiment with new challenges for you. One of the reasons we do things like this is to help you avoid “fitness plateaus”. This term refers to a sudden and dramatic decrease in the noticeable results that you were seeing thanks to your regular workouts. It is caused when your workout doesn’t evolve to take into account the increases in strength and endurance that your body makes as you get fitter.  


Needless to say, although it’s evidence that your body has gotten stronger, experiencing a fitness plateau can be pretty demoralising and demotivating! For improvements in your fitness to be made, your body needs to be taken out of its comfort zone. This is done by increasing the amount of physiological “stress” it is put under. Our bodies are incredibly clever and adapt pretty quickly if they realise they’re being asked to do the same thing over and over.


So, in our classes we keep your body guessing by changing up the structure of the workout every single day. Some workouts will go at a steadier pace, with longer rows and heavier weights, whereas others will be much more fast-paced, with bodyweight AMRAPs and high-octane partner sprints. This means that your body is constantly challenged in new ways and is forced to keep adapting, ensuring consistent progress is made.


We also monitor you closely and give you a gentle nudge when we think you’re ready for the heavier weights. This is the idea that once a weight becomes easy to lift, you should challenge your body by selecting a higher weight. Unless you’re specifically looking to increase your endurance, it is generally better if you’re looking to improve your body composition to do fewer reps of a more challenging weight, than to easily smash out loads of reps with a weight that you’re now plenty strong enough to handle. This won’t challenge your body, and what doesn’t challenge you won’t change you.


We apply these principles (known as progression and overload) to our Personal Training sessions, too. By changing up the type of workout you do and making sure that you progress in terms of the weights you use, we can ensure that you make consistent progress over time.


Have you been going to the gym for months (or even years!) without seeing much of a change in your body, or without getting the results you hoped for? Come and chat to the team – we can help you smash past this plateau and reach your fitness goals, whatever they may be.


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All group training has currently been cancelled due to COVID19. We hope to be up and running again soon and will update you as much as possible.Read more