Bust Through Plateau


Hi, I'm a 5'4" 150 pound woman but I don't know my body fat percentage.

I joined a gym about 3 months ago and I lost about 22 pounds. Unfortunately I've hit my plateau.

I understand that I have to change my workout a bit, but my workout plan is different and very specific from a lot of people and I couldn't find a website that could help me.
My workout schedule is everyday but Fridays..
(Classes are normally 55 minutes, with a stretch for 5 minutes)

Monday:  1 high impact cardio class, and 1 weight lifting class.

Tuesday:  1 high impact circuit training class, 1 low impact cardio/weight training class

Wednesday:  1 high impact cardio class, 1 yoga/Pilates class

Thursday:  1 cardio ball class (works abs mostly), 1 high impact cardio.. then at night I run for 3 miles

Friday:  day off

Saturday:  1 spin class, 1 weight lifting class, 1 high impact cardio class

Sunday:  1 high impact cardio, 1 low impact cardio..

I'm 5'4 and weigh around 149..although I like what I see in the mirror, my attitude is there is always room for improvement.

My goal weight is 130. I eat around 1200 calories a day. I stay away from red meats, sodium, and cheese (doctors order).

I eat 3 main meals a day, a snack only in between meals. After my workouts I consume anywhere between 26-40 grams of protein. Before workouts I snack on a granola bar. I eat fruits and raw veggies at least once a day.

I only eat light wheat or rye bread and I'm a pretty good eater when it comes to snacking.

I'm not sure what more I can do to break this plateau. If you could help me based on my information that would be greatly appreciated.

Answered by:
Jason Spencer, CSCS

Jason Spencer Online Personal Training

Jason Spencer CSCS

Jason Spencer ACSM Certification


I can definitely advise you on how to proceed now that you've run into that plateau...

As you've likely heard, plateaus occur in training once you've gotten to the point where your body has gotten used to the stresses that have placed upon it.

This is usually do to repeated employment of the same techniques and strategies over an excessively long period of time without any new stimulus to shock it back into improvement mode. And yes you are exactly right that you have to change up some things about your activity.

From reading over your info, I see that you have a very large volume of activity over those six days throughout the week.

The thing that stands out to me is that it is dominated by cardio classes, and most days combine 2 or even 3 different activities all of similar intensities.

Furthermore, doing virtually the same or similar activities 6 out of 7 days for 3 months has most certainly made it's stamp on the body to where there's nothing for your body to figure out anymore. It's almost like your activity is as natural as breathing at this point.

Also, I notice that you do have a decent amount of weight training sessions in there, but you run into the same problem with strength training as you do with cardio....

It's too much rooted in classes which are all the same intensity week in and week out. So, the biggest thing you will need to change is to find a way to do your cardio and weights on a more intense routine. Something on the next level in difficulty for you, and something that you can easily manipulate and adjust on your own.

This means getting on treadmills and ellipticals and going out into the main gym areas with free weights and machines so that you can " lock in " and organize yourself the way YOUR body needs.

You have to start to work at least some of the days of the week with weights, rest intervals, reps, sets and exercise sequences different than what the classes always keep consistent.

There's not as much altering of exercise variables in the classes which is exactly what you need now if you are going to change up and get the rest of that weight off that you want. You need freedom to be able to adjust things and push yourself more specifically.


Return to the Ask Personal Trainers Home Page

blog comments powered by Disqus