The New York TimesThe New York Times

When your workout stops working

By Connie Chang

24 Sep 2023 · 3 min read

informed Summary

  1. Workout plateaus, where progress slows or stalls despite continued training, are common and can occur once the body adapts to a new workout or due to insufficient recovery.

The first weeks of a new exercise routine can be hard — your muscles tremble, your lungs burn, your heart races. But after a month or two, it gets easier: You’re running faster and longer, or lifting weights with more ease. Then suddenly, progress slows or stalls. You’ve hit a workout plateau.

Such periods, when you stop seeing fitness improvements despite continuing to train, are common, said Chris Perrin, a personal trainer and co-owner of Cut Seven, a gym in Washington, D.C. “I’ve yet to meet a fitness enthusiast who hasn’t hit one.”

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