4 Ways To Break Plateaus
It’s inevitable. The time will come when each of us will hit a plateau in our training or fitness. There will come a point where it is a struggle to increase even five pounds on a lift or when it becomes very difficult to put on more muscle or lose that last bit of weight.
When this happens, you must figure out ways to keep improving so you can reach your desired goals. So first off, what exactly is a plateau?
A plateau is defined as “a period or state of little or no growth, or decline.” Simple as that.
When you first start lifting and eating correctly to attain your goals, you will notice that results come very quickly. However, after a while results will start to slow down. When this happens, we must ask the question:
How do you break past plateaus?
Below, I cover four simple ways that you can break past your fitness plateaus. It will not be easy, but if you work at incorporating a few of the steps below you will start seeing more and more improvement:
1. Drop sets.
Drop sets are an incredible option when pushing past plateaus. Here is how to do a drop set: complete the allotted number of repetitions at desired weight, re-rack or “drop” the weight for 20-30 seconds, and then complete as many reps as possible with that same weight (a burn out). Typically you will be able to do about half the reps of what you would normally do on the drop set.
For example, if you do 10 reps on the first part of the set, after “dropping” the weight for 20-30 seconds you will be able to complete around 5 reps on the second part of the set (the burn out portion).
2. Bump up the weight, lower the reps.
If you have been consistently doing 10 repetitions (for example) for your exercises, you may want to try bumping up the weight and doing less reps. For example, you can increase the weight for a few weeks and focus on doing 6 repetitions instead of your regular 10. Doing this recently, I was able to see my numbers on lifts shoot up higher than they have ever been.
Really focus your efforts on gaining tons of strength. To do this, doing lower reps with higher weight will help accomplish this!
3. Change it up.
Our bodies are incredible at adapting to everything that is thrown at them. Over time as we continue doing the same workouts and lifts, our bodies start to adapt and will hit that plateau. If you are at this point, try switching up your workouts a bit. If you have been lifting heavy, try to incorporate some higher rep, endurance/strength exercises. If you have been focusing on more high rep workouts, try incorporating a few heavy lifting days 1-2 times per week.
Confuse your body so it is always guessing. The trainer in charge of the actors from the movie ‘300’ has been quoted saying, “the actors never did the same workout twice.” If you want your body to continue to grow you have to keep things mixed up.
If you keep doing the same routine over and over, your muscles will get used to being torn down and rebuilt the exact same way. Over time they adapt and stop making improvements.
4. Never, EVER give up!
This may be the most important step in breaking past a plateau. It is simple: keep going after what you want to achieve no matter what. Never, ever give up!
You must push through to breakthrough!
The four steps above are very easy to implement into your current routine. If you feel you are “stuck” or that you hit a plateau, try using one of the tactics above to push past and keep getting better.
Don’t get stuck in one place for too long. Always be looking for ways to improve and get better!
Questions or Comments? Please leave your feedback below!
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, it would be greatly appreciated if you hit that ‘Like’ and Tweet button before you go!