You’ve made a lot of progress the past few weeks, but now you’ve hit a plateau. You aren’t getting stronger or better, and you don’t understand why.
Here are some reasons why you’re not breaking that exercise plateau and what you can do change that.
Not having a spotter makes you lazy
Many people who workout alone are less likely to try to push themselves beyond their fail points. If you’ve been sticking to the weights and not going higher because you’re afraid you might hurt yourself, a spotter is a great way to get you off that plateau and move on to higher goals.
While working out with another person, you are more likely to push and motivate each other to get your maximum number of reps until failure. You are more likely to try heavier weights without the fear of hurting yourself. A spotter can also help you improve your form over time, show you where your problem areas are and help correct them. If you have a spotter, you will be more likely to stay dedicated to your workouts and reach the goals you need to get bigger, stronger muscles.
Are you going to the gym after a long day at work?
Most people prefer to workout in the morning rather than the evening. Science has backed up that morning workouts are usually better. They tend to increase your energy for the rest of the day. The Appalachian State University found that morning workouts help with a better night’s rest as well.
A tired brain means a tired and half-hearted workout. Going to bed earlier and hitting the gym early in the morning will make sure you have the energy to get the results you want. Also, make sure that you have had a proper breakfast before you try to workout.
Your body is used to the workouts
If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you’re body will actually get more coordinated with the exercise and adapt to the workouts. What does that mean? Your muscles won’t tear and rebuild to become stronger. You have to push your body, mix up your usual program by doing heavier weights, more sets. Usually doubling what you were doing at your plateau will wake your body up and get it back to the grind.
You have to push your body, mix up your usual program by doing heavier weights, more sets. Usually doubling what you were doing at your plateau will wake your body up and get it back to the grind.
Get a trainer to write out a program.
Unless you’re a personal trainer with the knowledge of physiology and anatomy, you shouldn’t be figuring out what workouts you want to be doing. Having a trained professional write out a program for you to design a program that meets your specific needs will always help you to leap off that plateau.
Trainers are experts at holding you accountable. They can help develop a routine that will help you to reach your fitness goals. Trainers will also help you to figure out your problem areas, be it your diet, the work intensity, or genetic issues that might impede on your personal goals.
You aren’t utilizing your muscles as best as you could.
If you’ve been doing the same workout over and over again, your body gets used to the program. Another way to wake up those muscles is to target them at different angles. Changing your grip on the weights from over to under or doing a mixed grip (one over and one under) will force your muscles to work out in ways they aren’t used to and will give you the burn you need to get to your next goal.
Most people know about the three angles (flat, incline, and decline), that help you to work out the different parts of the muscle to help you make gains, but changing it up and working out at 30 and 45-degree angles will help recruit the muscle fibers even more.
You’re doing too much and burning yourself out too soon
You can spend hours at the gym and get zero results. Shorten your workouts and focus on the excersises that will give you the results you want. Many people get so caught up in all the different exercise machines that they aren’t focusing on the muscles they need to get the results they want. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses or pulls are the best workouts.
There are workouts called burnout, which are a combination of pyramids and drop sets. They are designed to work muscles with lower weights after muscle failure has been achieved at higher weights. The heavier weights help build pure strength and as you go lower, further fatigues the muscles to get a full workout.
Pause-reps, partial-reps or bottom-half-reps will help
Changing how you perform your reps can help you get through those sticking points and build new levels of strength you never thought you had. Pause reps are a tried-and-true method of adding muscle and strength. They force you to face your challenging weights with strength and strength alone, no range of motion or momentum is helping get you through something, it’s all you.
Another reason why you should change up your workout reps is if your goals begin to change if you become bored with the workout you are already doing.
Non-linear periodization is more effective than linear periodization for strength and endurance
If you’ve been slowly moving up week by week on the weights or sets, you’re doing it all wrong. Yes, it helps you see how much progress you’re making, but that’s how you get stuck on your pleateaus. Instead of doing all your exercises as 3×10 try to perform sets of five in the beginning and then sets of 12 at the end of your workout. Physical intensity is a huge component in fitness goals.
Another thing you may want to consider is cross training. Make sure you determine the different muscle groups you want to work out on in your exercises and replace them with alternate exercises that target those same muscles.
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