Brandon Carter | Start Here

How to Break out of a Frustrating Cardio Plateau

If you are tired of suffering from a cardio plateau and want to learn how you can get back to seeing progress, you're going to want to read this article.

Anyone who has trained for any length of time is all too familiar with the dreaded training plateau. This is true for both muscle gains and fat loss. After a period of initial success, the results all of a sudden come to an abrupt standstill.

At that point, it begins to feel like you’re training only to maintain whatever results you were able to gain before the plateau reared its ugly head.

Well, I am about to show you how to break free from a cardio plateau so you can get back to seeing amazing results.

1. Change Exercises

Following the same routine day in and out is the surefire way to hit a plateau. This is why I recommend changing your exercises every four weeks or so.

You can maintain a HIIT routine while changing the exercises. If one of the movements involve 30 seconds of crunches, for example, then consider swapping it out with a 30 second isometric plank.

Give your routine a complete overhaul. This creates what is known as muscle confusion, in which your muscles are all of a sudden hit with a different type of training that it’s not accustomed to. It responds by adapting and growing as a result. The same principle applies for fat loss as well.

2. Increase Intensity

More intensity means more calories burned. Intensity can be ramped up by increasing reps, duration, or using more resistance.

When it comes to cardio, and HIIT specifically, you can decrease rest time. If each rest period is typically 30 seconds, then gradually decrease it to 25 seconds, then 20.

Of course, you can add more resistance as well. If one exercise involves deep knee bends, then increase intensity by holding a weight plate or pair of dumbbells. You can also combine more resistance with shorter rest periods.

In any case, I do not recommend extending overall workout duration. The longer it’s drawn out, the more your body will hold back to preserve its energy to make it through the whole routine.

3. Change It Up Altogether

Instead of just changing exercises within the same workout, consider changing the entire training regimen. There are viable alternatives besides a typical HIIT session.Fotolia_89887838_Subscription_Monthly_XXL

Some other routines I have tried include cardio kickboxing, hill sprints with a weighted vest, and jump roping with a heavy rope. However you change it up, it is critical that you maintain the same level of intensity.

If your typical HIIT session is 15 minutes, then your new workout should also completely leave your gas tank empty within that time frame.

Click here to check out some of my intense HIIT workouts. These 10-20 minute workouts are no joke, so be ready to work! .

“Shock” Your Body Into Losing Fat

The body has what can be best described as a “comfort zone.” This is the level of muscle and body fat that the body is naturally inclined to maintain.

Everyone’s comfort zone is different depending on their genetics. Some people’s bodies tend to hold onto more body fat, while a gifted few can maintain low body fat percentages with relative ease.

The point is that once your body is in its comfort zone, the remaining fat will be really stubborn and won’t melt off unless you “shock” your body.

By shocking your body, I mean taking it out of its comfort zone by giving it something entirely new or increasing intensity to a point where it knows you aren’t playing around.

Have a Solution for Every Plateau

Be sure to check out The Simple Shredded Solution.

Below is a transformation by one of my students. He achieved his goals by following the advice and strategies that I talk about in The Simple Shredded Solution..


On a final note, if you ever feel like you’ve hit a wall, be sure to evaluate your dietary habits as well. Lapse in your dieting could very well be causing a halt in fat loss, which you may mistakenly attribute to your workout.

If you want me to personally help you with your nutrition, then check out my Custom Meal Plan. I'll show you what and when to eat to optimize your fat loss results.