One of the most common concerns personal trainers and instructors hear from their clients is the feeling that their fitness progress has hit a plateau, despite sticking to their workout routine. Many people settle into a routine at the gym, selecting the classes in which their body performs best, and using the same gym equipment again and again. The truth is, mixing up your routine and challenging your body with new and possibly uncomfortable exercises is necessary in order to see results continually over time, particularly if weight loss is the goal.

The more your body performs certain movements, the easier they become. During recovery, your body improves its ability to handle the stress of your favorite gym class or exercise, which means your calorie loss and muscle gain will decrease over time. To keep your body working and the pounds disappearing, you should aim to add small variations to your workouts each week, and consider completely switching up your routine every four to six weeks.

If you’ve worked hard to meet your weight loss and muscle strengthening goals and are committed to maintaining your results, resistance training is something you should begin to incorporate into your weekly routine, if you haven’t already. There are so many benefits to regular resistance training, including weight management, muscle mass maintenance, developing strong bones, and protecting joints from injury.

Something to remember when resistance training is that more isn’t necessarily better. Doing less repetitions with heavier weights can increase your overall maximum strength, help to increase metabolism, and develop leaner muscle mass. To avoid injury, it’s always important to maintain good form, however, so drop the weight if you feel that your form is being compromised.

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