I’ve tried everything and nothing works! When we don’t get the results we expect, we may begin to wonder if the early morning training and healthy eating plans are really worth the effort…

I’ve certainly been there; I genuinely thought I was a unique little snowflake for whom daily exercise stopped working.  I was convinced; I was the exception to the many benefits of daily exercise.

I must confess; I enjoyed the thought I was the only human on the planet for whom exercise had no impact.

It was also a very convenient thought…after all, I’m not a fan of exercise…I was too busy for exercise, and I saw no dramatic before/after picture-perfect proof that made exercise worth my time or effort.

However, I now realize, while there is no visible progress in my fitness, I ‘m not regressing either…it means, as I get older, I get younger, because I stay the same. I’m not sure if it makes sense, but staying the same is a strong motivator for me. 

I’m learning (better late than never),  holding onto my fitness gains is tough work, and if I quit now, I will effectively take 2 steps back; one step for decommissioning muscle tone and a second step for the ongoing aging process.

Therefore for me, what feels like standing still, is actually moving forward, I believe, age-defying progress hinges on daily exercise and healthy eating.  

Busting Out Of A Fitness Plateau

Even with relative fitness progress, if we have been training consistently and eating well, should we not see more results?

Our body is a creature of habit. It is continually seeking to do what it routinely does. Therefore, when exercise and healthy eating become routine, our body will make the necessary adjustments to “normalize” our effort, and our fitness gains flat-line or plateau.

Getting past a fitness plateau is frustrating, but it’s not impossible, if it’s what you truly want. Here are two questions to ask yourself: 

  • Firstly; take a close look at your workout, are you really challenging yourself? Or just spending hours doing the exercises you like or endless steady state cardio?
  • Secondly; are you preparing to get uncomfortable before your workout or are you aiming to just get through and then hang out? 


The scientific theory behind fitness plateaus is called General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS).  It explains how the body responds to stress and adaptation through three phases; Alarm Reaction, Resistance, and Exhaustion. Briefly;

  1. Alarm Reaction. This is when your body reacts to a change, such as a new workout. If you have never exercised before, then your body will respond well, and you will see fitness gains quickly. At this stage, exercise is very motivating.
  2. Resistance. This is when your body starts to adapt to exercise; it happens slowly over time, depending on your level of effort and the amount of time it takes you to recover.
  3. Exhaustion. This is when the body is no longer able to resist the stress of repetitive exercise, and it is usually a sign of over-training.


Our body can plateau at stage 2 and 3, and if we keep this mind then, we can make sensible decisions when we hit a fitness “wall” and not quit for stalled results.

Are you ready to step on the GAS? Here are some ideas to lift you out of your fitness plateau:

  • Change your workout programming or your structure; include a variety of exercises, work smaller muscle groups with large muscle groups in different ways.
  • Include stretching and relaxation into your routine; such as; Yoga, Pilates, Barre, TaiChi, QiGong, etc
  • Get social; Group fitness helps you stay motivated when you feel part of a like-minded team. If you are in Sydney perhaps try our Group Fitness classes.
  • Team sports/sport, like; golf, table tennis, tennis, bowling, etc. healthy competition is a great way to encourage our body and mind to improve.
  • Consider including metabolic conditioning into your fitness routine, like our online WELLth program.


Make Exercise Count


When we exercise for the sake of exercise, even if it is to lose weight, it becomes almost impossible to get our dream results, because our “WHY” is not connected to our “HOW.”

The “HOW” needs to count. It doesn’t matter what you choose to count, but it must be something over time, for the simple reason, what we measure we can improve.

  • When I measured how many push-ups I did, I got stronger.
  • When I tracked my wholefood vegetable intake, I ate healthier food.
  • When I recorded my blessings, I began living my life with gratitude for; myself, you my readers, my students, and all my online WELLth friends moving forward together in making our world a fitter place for generations to come.

Our lives take shape when we choose to spend some time with exercise each day. Measuring helps us become aware of what counts.  It’s not about the result, it’s about self-awareness.

Therefore, lifting yourself out of a fitness plateau means; having the courage to do what counts.

Does your health count? Then try our WELLth online program. Health and fitness is easy with WELLth because you learn:

  1. What to do,
  2. How to do it,
  3. When it counts

Join us today for your exclusive 7-day access to the 2019 WELLth challenge and to be part of our living well with fitness community. Health is WELLth at Square Box fitness.     


Live well with fitness!


Written by Anna: Nutritionist and Exercise Therapist @SquareBoxFitness.com