Exercise plateaus, or periods where growth or advancement cease, are a mental drain and often lead to frustration. While a plethora of things can cause a plateau, there are also a handful of ways they can be avoided.
#1. Do Something Different
Your body is an adaptive organism that requires you to stay a few steps ahead of the game if you wish to keep your fitness goals on track. Introducing new exercises that target different angles is one way to combat stagnation. In other words, if you’re predominantly a plate-pusher, try plyometric or circuit training for a week or so. In addition to changing up your workouts, it is also a great idea to start taking a workout supplement.
#2. Change The Level Of Resistance
Remember what we said about changing exercises? Well, there’s more to it. You also need to alter the types of resistance and weights used in your training — bands, cables, machines, barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and bodyweight exercises.
How often should you change things up? That depends. Beginners can get away with doing the same workout for a longer period of time before progress halts. Some bodybuilders and weightlifters change their workouts daily. Intermediate and advanced athletes and lifters should change their workout routines regularly — every one to two weeks — to avoid plateaus.
#3. Change Your TUT
Experiment with time changes during the concentric (lifting) and eccentric (lowering) phases of your lifts. Varying the time you keep your muscles under tension during a set — referred to as time under tension (TUT) — helps promote more growth and strength. Using rep counts can be tricky in this sense because if you perform 20 spastic reps in the same time you perform 10 slow and controlled reps, it’s the same TUT.
#4. Keep A Workout Log
Knowing how you performed during workouts can help motivate you to push harder as well as keep you honest about your progress … or lack thereof. Written (or digital) proof is your way of keeping yourself in check. If your lifts are lagging, you can come up with reasons why. Is it exercise choice? Is your training inconsistent? Are you avoiding movements that target certain muscle angles?
#5. Rest & Recover
Taking your training seriously and being serious about your training isn’t the same thing.
Training hard and pushing yourself is a great habit — but if you’re not getting enough sleep or recovering properly, you’re not really serious about your training. How much sleep do you need per night? A study published in the journal of Sleep monitored 3,760 people over a seven-year period and concluded that the optimal number of hours of sleep per night is 7.8 for men and 7.6 for women. For better recovery, use P4 Recovery Push, which uses electrolytes, BCAAs, and the carbohydrate Karbolyn® to aid the body’s recovery process.