When you’re busting your butt, watching your diet, and pushing your limits trying to change your physique, it can be frustrating when you find that your results have stopped. Many people will fall off the wagon and start slacking off at this point, rather then pushing through the plateau.
If you’re serious about your goals then you need to learn to push through these plateau’s. There are many things you can do when you hit a wall, and here are a few minor tweaks that will help keep things fresh and revitalize your results. Consider these plateau-busting tips:
Reversing the order that you perform your compound exercises is one of the simpliest ways to change the way in which your body is worked. This will help confuse the body and promote new muscle growth.
Here is an example of a chest routine.
1. Flat Bench Press
2. Incline Bench Press
3. Weighted Dips
4. Dumbell Chest Flyes
Reversing your compounds lifts would look like this:
1. Weighted Dips
2. Incline Bench Press
3. Flat Bench Press
4. Dumbbell Chest Flyes
Dumbbell flyes would still be the last exercise you do because it is not a compound movement. This may seem like a very basic change but sometimes the simple tweaks can lead to big gains.
Simply switching your reps and sets is another simple but effective way to bust through a plateau. Instead of doing your normal 4 sets of 10, try doing 10 sets of 4. This turns the workout into an intensity workout and will help you increase your strength.
Just like the body can adapt to a workout, it can also adapt to a diet so try switching up the foods you eat. If you’ve been eating chicken breasts, salmon and eggs for the past few weeks try changing them for alternative proteins for a week. It can be very easy to get bored of a diet so be sure that you don’t eat the same proteins more then once a day.
If your looking for other proteins sources try scallops, tilapia, sable fish, beans, bison, turkey, greek yogurt, quinoa, or even chocolate milk.
Listening to music when you train is a great motivator, get yourself an mp3 player and listening to something uplifting that gets you in the training mood. Many athletes find that listening to music gets them into a mindset when training and has helped them achieve a much better workout then what they would have done without it. Listening to music is also a great way to help you get rid of any distractions.
When your in the gym take a look around at everyone, you’ll see that most of the people training don’t have a training partner. In fact only around 25 percent of people actually have a training partner. Having a good training partner can help motivate you and breathe new life into your workout.
It’s always good to find someone who may be a little more advanced than yourself, you’ll find yourself with more energy than you thought you had. Even the pro athletes have a training partner to push them further. Some professional athletes will pay for a good training partners.
How long are you resting between sets? 30 seconds, 50 seconds, or more. Are you getting stronger each week or are you just resting for longer?
A good way to keep track of your strength is to wear a stopwatch and time your rest between each set. Keep your workouts honest and consistent.
Finally, if you have hit a plateau taking some time off from the gym can do wonders for the body. If you are feeling tried and unmotivated take a week off and you will come back feeling fresher and more focused. However, don’t just laze about doing nothing spend some time with friends and family, go for walks, do some relaxing activities or maybe try doing some yoga. Taking a week break every 3-4 months is a good idea for anyone training as it can help you stay on track and avoid hitting a plateau.
If you have any plateau-busting tips please share them in the comments!