Forget Fad Workouts—Science Says This Fitness Routine Actually Works

Updated 05/05/19

Nothing is more frustrating than formulating a multifaceted approach to your 2017 health and wellness goals, only to see little to no physical manifestation of your efforts. But researchers may have identified why some of us seem to be resistant to exercise regimens that seem to work for others, a group they've appropriately dubbed the "non-responders." 

"If you're a 'non-responder,' like 36% of people in [this] study, a 'traditional' cardio and strength training exercise program most likely won't result in any changes to your bodily function," explains Shape. In other words, you hit a sort of physical plateau that may stand in the way of achieving your fitness goals. 

Fortunately, the study authors, whose work was sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), also provide a 13-week exercise regimen proven to break through this so-called fitness plateau. For starters, the participants completed three weeks of cardio exercise only, increasing the intensity week-by-week. They hit the gym three times a week over the course of the workout regimen, performing the following six exercises with slowly increased weight and repetition:

  • Stability ball circuit (hip bridges, crunches, Russian twists, and planks)
  • Kneeling/standing wood chops and hay balers
  • Dumbbell squats to 90 degrees
  • Standing one-arm cable row
  • Step-ups with dumbbell onto a 15-cm step
  • Assisted pull-ups

In the end, 100% of participants who completed this workout saw results. While the above workout was formulated specifically by the ACE, the takeaway still stands: Switching up your workout is necessary when you're trying to reach new fitness goals; you can't expect different results when you're doing the exact same thing.

How do you work through these so-called physical plateaus? Share your thoughts with us below!

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