Busting PlateausNever. Stop. Growing.
By Adam Sinicki
Hitting a plateau in training is one of the worst fates that can befall any iron warrior. This is a sad state of affairs where you are no longer seeming to grow from the gym. You've reached a point where you can't seem to hurt yourself in the gym any more, and where you seem to be sleepwalking through your sets. It's enough to kill anyone's enthusiasm for pumping iron, and it means that many of us are putting in ridiculous amounts of work just to stay the same as we always have been. The question is... what to do about it?
Here are a few suggestions, try doing these things in the gym and see if any of them help to reinvigorate your training.
Move Location: if you train at home then try training in the gym. If you train at the gym then train at home. If you train at the gym and don't want to train at home, then try moving to a different gym. This way you'll be using slightly different equipment in a new surrounding and this is enough to reinvigorate your training for a while.
Take More Protein Shake: Yup, up your dosage and you should start to notice a significant change. This way you will be recovering more from your workouts and getting bigger and that will mean you can also lift more when you get back to it.
Set Challenges: Sometimes the problem is that hitting the gym just isn't that fun which can make it hard to feel enthusiastic about it. Try setting yourself some challenges before you get to the gym then and this will give you a re-invigorated sense of ambition. Challenges could mean things like not resting for more than a minute between any sets, or going up 10k on everything you would normally do.
HIT: HIT means high intensity training – in other words hitting your muscles as hard and fast as possible in one go. This will make sure you're battered going in to the workout so you're not likely to feel bored subsequently and everything you do after that will be pain on top of what you just did..
Research: Learn something new whether it's a new exercise or a new training technique like static contraction. It's samey-ness that will make your muscles grow bored, so even if you're piling on the weight if it's the exact same movement as before you shouldn't expect to grow much. Never do the same work out twice and where possible always introduce something completely new into the mix.
Listen to Your Body: If you went into the gym with a plan that doesn't mean you have to stick with it. In other words if you're doing some curls and your arm is fine, but it then starts to hurt when you go to put the weight down then it's that putting the weight down motion that you want to stick with – so keep doing it. If you get a little voice in your head that says 'pull ups would really hurt about now' then do pull ups. There are no concrete rules as to what will bring the burn, but you should be able to tell once you've been in the gym long enough.