It’s normal to hit a workout plateau when you’re building muscle. It’s a sign that you’ve reached your maximum progress under current training conditions and that it’s time for a change.
You can avoid hitting a fitness plateau by following these tips. You should also ensure that you’re getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet.
1. Change Up Your Workouts
Changing up your workouts helps prevent boredom and keeps exercise exciting. Plus, it’s a great way to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. For example, if you’re working out with a friend and he or she can easily perform a set of push-ups, but you struggle to do them, it may be time to switch up your workout.
The human body is a very adaptable creature and it quickly learns to cope with the demands you put on it. Unfortunately, this can also mean that your muscles plateau when they get too used to a specific exercise.
When you change up your workouts, you’re forcing your body to keep adapting, which can help you break through a plateau and start seeing new results. This technique is called progressive overload and it’s a key part of any fitness program.
Changing up your workouts can be as simple as swapping out one exercise for another or adding in an extra rep or two. But it’s important to make sure you’re swapping like for like. For example, if you’re doing a chest workout, instead of a flat bench press, try incline or decline presses.
2. Increase the Intensity of Your Workouts
Increasing the intensity of your workouts can help you break out of a strength training plateau. This can be done by changing the type of exercise, adding an additional rep or using a different workout method. It is important to increase the intensity of your workouts gradually, as increasing them too quickly can lead to injury.
One way to increase the intensity of your workouts is to focus on increasing the time under tension (TUT) for each set. This can be done by slowing down the eccentric, or lowering, phase of each lift or by incorporating a brief pause at the top of the movement.
Another way to increase the intensity of your workouts involves changing the position of your body. For example, if you usually perform squats in the sagittal plane (up and down movements), try performing them in the frontal or transverse plane to challenge your muscles.
It is also important to try to include some plateau buster techniques in your workouts at least once every 2-3 weeks. This will keep your workouts interesting and challenging and allow you to continue making progress.
3. Change the Order of Your Exercises
If you’re consistently hitting the gym and not making progress, it might be time to change your workout routine. This will help you avoid muscle plateaus and break through your training rut.
One way to change your routine is by switching up the order of your exercises. This will challenge your muscles in different ways and help you build more strength. For example, if you’re doing bench presses, try changing up the order of your reps and adding in some low-rep sets. This will increase the amount of weight you’re lifting, which will lead to bigger gains in strength and performance.
Changing up the order of your exercises can also help you target certain muscles that may be underperforming. For example, if you’re always performing squats with the same reps and weight, you might be neglecting some of the smaller muscles in your legs. By changing up the order of your exercises, you’ll be able to target these underperforming muscles and see bigger gains in strength and performance.
Changing up the order of your exercises can help you make faster progress, but it’s important to remember that consistency is key when building muscle. To ensure you’re making steady progress, stick with a routine for at least six to nine months.
4. Change Your Exercise Routine
When you change your exercise routine, your muscles have to adapt and grow to keep up with the new demands. Changing the number of reps, weight or intensity can all trigger this growth response. However, it’s important to make these changes in small increments over time. Doing too many big changes at once can lead to overtraining and injury.
You can also change your routine by replacing one exercise with another. For example, instead of doing a flat bench press, try a decline or incline variation. You can also change the order of your exercises or even switch up the equipment you use.
The key to getting over a plateau is to mix up your workouts. By using the tips in this article, you can increase your results and avoid a fitness plateau. Just remember that overtraining is the #1 cause of plateaus, so be sure to rest when needed!
5. Increase Your Rest Between Sets
Increasing your rest between sets can help you break through workout plateaus. This is because longer rest periods allow for more complete recovery between each set, allowing you to lift heavier weights and perform more reps during each session.
Some studies have also found that stretching between sets can increase time under tension, further stimulating muscle growth . So if you find that your training isn’t producing the results you want, try adding some of these advanced plateau busting techniques to your workouts.
Generally, if you haven’t progressed in any exercise for two consecutive workouts, it is a good sign that you are reaching a plateau. The techniques outlined above can be used in combination to break through a plateau and continue to make strength gains. Just remember that you should still try to incorporate other plateau busting techniques such as changing up the repetition ranges, exercise order, intensity and using different machines or exercises. You also need to ensure you are getting enough rest and drinking enough water. If you aren’t, your body may be unable to adapt and you won’t make progress.
6. Rest More Between Sets
Resting more between sets can help you to overcome plateaus while building muscle. This is because when you rest more between sets, it gives your muscles a chance to recover and be ready for the next set. In addition, it allows you to perform more reps and increase the amount of weight that you lift on each set.
However, you should be careful when increasing the rest time between your sets. Too much rest can cause you to burn out before you are able to complete all of the necessary sets in your workout. This can also decrease your total training volume and prevent you from reaching your fitness goals.
The rest time between your sets should be determined by the type of exercise that you are performing and the intensity of the workout. In general, you should try to rest for about 3 minutes between each set. This will give you enough time to recover and prepare for the next set, but it won’t take so long that you lose momentum and lose focus.
7. Increase Your Weight
If you are hitting a plateau, it may be time to add some additional weight. This could be as simple as adding 5% to the amount you lift or adding a few more repetitions of an exercise each week. This simple progression will help your muscles adapt and grow new muscle fibers.
Research has shown that if you increase your reps or sets for an exercise, your muscles can grow by up to 20%. This is because your body is not used to such a high amount of stress and will need to make adjustments.
The goal of progressive overload is to continually challenge your muscles so they can keep growing. By changing up your workouts, increasing your weight and using plateau buster techniques, you can break through a strength plateau and start making progress again.
8. Change Your Diet
When you’re building muscle, you need to be eating enough calories. If you’re not consuming enough, your body will stop responding to the workouts and won’t grow. If this is the case, you may need to change your diet. Try adding more protein and carbs to your meals, or eat more complex carbohydrates (like sweet potatoes) to fuel your muscles. If you fail to meet the recommended protein intake through food, protein powders are just as effective, as seen on True Protein.
Another way to break through a plateau is to increase the number of reps you perform with a certain weight. This will force your muscles to adapt by increasing the amount of time they’re under tension. Slowing down your reps can also help you reach a plateau buster. Instead of going for a two- or three-count, try taking longer to lower into the bottom position of your reps (like on a back squat) and take longer to stand up from the top.
Plateaus can be frustrating, but they are usually a sign that you’re making progress. By implementing these tips, you can overcome your fitness plateau and continue to grow strong and lean.