If you’ve been boosting for any
period of time, you probably have reached this obstacle: going every day to the
gym, all prepared, taking your pre-workout drink and attitude, all ready to
push more weight than the last time.
Then you play your favorite playlist,
load the plates and try to think that those weights are not so heavy as they
seem to be. But you hit the set and it quickly overwhelms you. Everything seems
too heavy and you end up doing exactly you have done last time or even worse,
less the last workout.
What happens to you? And what can
you improve to finally reach that expected progress? Let’s find out below.
The Science of
If we think about the human body, it is amazingly good at
adapting to stimuli. This means that despite we are mentioning the metabolism
or the muscle mass, the goal of our organism is to maintain a normalized state.
This principle is called homeostasis.
This principle is great to survival, but not so exceptional
for building muscle and power. As time goes on, the body gets better and better
at adjusting to training, and this is why many people happen into a routine:
they simply don’t use enough force to progress.
This means that once the newbie gains are right behind, you
need to work really really hard to force the muscles to grow larger and
This process is called in physiologically
super-compensation. This is the process when your body augments the already
existing muscle fibers, tendons, and ligaments to become larger and also much
As you may know, the main factor that is pushing
super-compensation is a continuous overload—lifting more power for a given rep
progression over time.
This is the reason why a plateau in size will always come
with a plateau in strength. Some people who look the same time after time are
lifting more or less the same weight month after month as well.
This is why everybody wants to really avoid plateaus by any
means. So if each week looks the same, with the same exercises and really the
same duplicates with exact weights, you probably will be able to keep the
present performance levels and physique mood, but probably you won’t make any
progress. And it is such a pity.
But think that plateaus are part of the game, and a properly
designed program and dietary regimen will help you go forward these times.
Think plateaus happen to everyone, so it’s ok. Don’t get mad when it happens to
you. Here are some strategies to help you go through these sticking points, so
you will never fall into the real hollow.
But first things first, before any strategy to overcome
plateaus, let’s see what are actually these events in the gym live.
What is a
Weightlifting Plateau and what is not
When people tell you that they
are trapped on a program and they don’t evolve, the first thing you want to
know is what they mean exactly.
Usually, it turns out they are
performing growth; they just aren’t earning the type of improvement they want
to see: they aren’t scoring weight as they previously were, or they aren’t
advancing on all exercises they make in each workout, or aren’t living up to
some other basis.
I then translate what I want to
reveal to you here, which has to do with expectations and benchmarks.
Only if you are all new to the
weightlifting you will be able to add every week a new weight bar and maintain
the proper form and rep series. Instead, the weekly purpose for each practice
should be at least one of your lifts by 1 or 2 reps, and it will normally be
your first exercise.
For instance, if you deadlifted
455 pounds last week for 2 reps, your goal is to get 3 to 4 reps this week (and
you presumably won’t get 4). If you do that and the rest of your workout is
exactly the same as last week’s (same weight and reps for each succeeding,
that’s a successful discipline.
It that might sound strange to
you, but just growing 1 or 2 reps on one exercise is enough to
provoke-compensation, and you should be fortunate.
Based on my experience with my own training, but also with
other thousands of people, the body is ready to progress, but you will mostly
see an increase in more than just one exercise of the common exercise.
But sometimes it’s just that
first big mixture lift that changes, and the rest stays the same. Other times
it’s the first set or two of the second exercise. Less frequently, that could
come in one of your Sarcoplasmic Sets. Notwithstanding your improve, any
advancement means you’re not stuck in a plateau.
If you want to know about the
real plateau situation, well, it happens when every lift in a workout is stuck
at a certain weight for a specific number of reps for at least 3 weeks. If that
really happens to you, it’s time for applying one or more of the strategies
Could It Be
Linked to Procedure or Movement?
Incorrect form can kill development, particularly on the big, important lifts like
the Squat, Deadlift, and Bench Press. If your organization or execution is off,
you will plateau at some period, and if you try to power through it, you may
If it happens to get stuck (and from time to time even when
things are going well), I like to have someone record me while I’m doing each
exercise so I can correct my scheme. I’ll download the videos on my computer
and play them up big so I can see what’s going on. And more than once I’ve
learned something clearly incorrect in my form that, when fixed, let me to
For instance, some months ago, I found I led to lean too far
forward in my squats. Especially when the weight got heavy, which was placing
too much pressure hip flexors. This was preventing me from pushing up some more
In order to correct this, I backed down on the weight to
give my hip flexors a pause and work on my frame. Within a month or so, I was
rapidly moving up again, this time with decent form and no hip flexor hurts.
Sometimes changing the technique is tricky, though. And it
almost always is due to how you manage the mobility.
You see, impaired upper and lower-body mobility can
seriously hazard all you have worked before. People simply can’t do some
certain exercises in a good way because their body can’t do the moves.
If you try doing in a very correct way some mobility
exercises, you will be enough the handle most of your problems.
If you don’t sleep enough, your body just won’t be able to
work at its best. And when you’re charging a lot from it in the gym, getting
sufficient rest every night is very important for both recovery and
People already have known this for some time, but research
came back with this statement. One study limited the rest of eight males aged
18 to 24 to three hours per night for three consecutive nights and discovered
that their strength on the Bench Press, Leg Press, and Deadlift was
significantly settled and the workouts were much more fatiguing than usual.
While that’s a rather extreme case of sleep loss, another
study has shown that moderate amounts of sleep limitation also compromise the
body’s ability to recover from training.
Studies have also shown that increasing sleep to a minimum
of 10 hours in bed each night improves physical performance (people felt better
psychologically, ran faster, shot basketballs more perfectly, and were able to
train longer before feeling fatigued).
doesn’t mean we should all sleep 10 hours or more each night.
Actually, studies have shown that a very small portion of
people actually have to sleep much more. But we should permit our body as much
sleep as it needs, and according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need
7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. This way, they will avoid the negative effects
of sleep deprivation. A small section of people do fine with less, and a small
corner needs more.
Eugenics and age effect have shown how much sleep your body
needs. If you don’t know how to determine this, take a simple way to determine
what’s better for you. Pick a two-week period such as a holiday and go to bed
at the same time each night without an alarm set.
Chances are, in the end, to sleep much longer than usual at
first and have “sleep deficit” to cancel out. Moving the end of the second
week, your body will settle a pattern of sleeping about the same number of
hours every night. And it’s trying to tell you something: that’s precisely how
much sleep it takes. Hold to that, and you’ll never fight the consequences of
Are You Really
Overtraining can be deceptive,
especially in its opening moments, when its manifestations are soft and hard to
When you overtrain, the first
things to falter will be your power and muscle resistance. Your workouts just
start feeling tough, no matter what you do. This is nothing more than an
intensification of central nervous system fatigue, and it’s easy to work.
Still, if you come back from your
holiday or and remain grounded, it’s probably not an overtraining effect unless
you’ve seriously overcome your body over the course of the last 6 to 12 months.
Workouts Everything You’ve Got
Squatting, deadlifting, and pressing hundreds of pounds over
and over isn’t for the inactive or weak-willed.
Sometimes people fall into a routine just because they don’t
hit their exercises with all they have. Their thoughts are elsewhere, and
they’re just performing within the movements.
Sometimes external agents are working against us. So,
practice when you feel the strongest and most dynamic. Be tolerant with damages
and make sure they’re completely recovered before you go full bore again.
There are usually hidden barriers to defeat as well.
Sometimes we psych ourselves out when attempting to hit heavier weights.
Sometimes we’re too demanding of ourselves, and sometimes we’re simply in a bad
temper or don’t desire to be in the gym.
These difficulties can be easily swept aside as well. Get
ready to give it everything you have. Imagine yourself hitting the lift
flawlessly. You don’t have to stomp throughout the gym like a furious beast,
but don’t bother if you don’t. You’re there to get outcomes, not to impress
others with your attitude.
When you’re in the gym, let yourself the indulgence of
briefly letting go of whatever other difficulties you’re dealing with in life.
Keep your mind on the tissues trained, the next rep, and the next set. Consider
it your meditation time.
Using Diet to Break the Weightlifting Plateaus
In many circumstances, a plateau in weight, size, and
strength is generated by nothing more than not feeding sufficiently. And for
some people, “sufficiently” is quite a lot.
As you get larger and powerful, the quantity of food that
you’ll have to consume to keep getting bigger and stronger will probably go up.
Just as you gradually decrease calorie consumption when cutting, you usually
need to gently boost calorie consumption while attempting to maximize muscle
So increasing calorie consumption is a simple method to get
both the weight and strength, up. All you have to do is boost your daily
consumption by about 100 calories and reassess after several weeks.
If that unsticks you, then hold your calories there for the
following few weeks and notice how your body reacts. If you’re growing again,
proceed until you’re not, and then increase intake again.
Do Less Cardio
Cardio can both hurt and help muscle growth. It aids by
enhancing insulin sensitivity which develops your body’s capacity to use
nutrients to build muscle.
But, it can get in the process of muscle growth in various
First, it burns calories that you will want to substitute if
you are to keep a small energy excess. Second, it puts supplementary stress on
the body, which can contribute to overtraining.
This is why studies have shown that the more cardio you do,
and the more extreme that cardio is, the more your strength and growth will be
If you hit a plateau, don’t be hesitant to cut cardio
completely for a few weeks while you unstick yourself. You can then add it back
in once you’re moving again.
Stretch Your Rep Range or Increase the Weight
in Smaller Increments
Sometimes you’ll hit the top of a given rep range, enhance
the weight the standard amount and fail to hit the bottom of the range on the
You have two choices when this occurs: you can train with
the original weight till you can do a few of extra reps over the top of the rep
range, or you can raise the weight in smaller increments using smaller plates.
Both work well, and it’s a thing of personal choice.
Boost the Weight and See if It Holds
If you’re stuck one rep short of the top of a rep range
you’re working in and you’re striving to hit it so you can move up, sometimes
it’s deserving just providing it a shot.
You’ll get a rep or two less than you should on your
following set, but you can provide your body an extra week or two with that new
and heavier weight to comprehend if it will adjust.
If, after working out with this new weight for 2 to 3 weeks,
you’re still stuck a rep or two short of the bottom of your rep range, then you
should go back to the former weight and use the other tactics from this
Include Rest-Pause Exercise
Many methods have been scientifically demonstrated to be no
more efficient than traditional set plans and rep rhythms.
There is one particular kind of training that has both
anecdotal and scientific proof on its side, and that’s the Rest-Pause Set.
This is an old-fashioned powerlifting technique for breaking
through plateaus. It was studied recently by researchers from the University of
Western Sydney. They discovered it to be an efficient approach to enhance
strength via greater muscle fiber recruitment.
The Rest-Pause Set is very simple. You perform an exercise
to failure and then pause for a brief period before completing the exercise to
failure again, supported by a short break, and another set to failure, and so
If you’ve hit a plateau or just have the desire to try this
way of practice, adapt each of your sets into Rest-Pause Sets for one or two
practices, and then go back to your usual exercise and observe whether that has
Once you’ve hit and cut through a few plateaus, you’ll
receive a good feeling for what goes best for your body.
Other bodies are complex, and you’ll discover the best
method to defeat plateaus through practice.