Training, at its very essence, is all about seeing positive growth in the direction that you ultimately want to follow for as long as possible. With each day that passes, the hope is that you will notice improvements to your physique in some capacity so that you know what you’re doing is working. When things seem to be moving along perfectly and all of your goals are being met, it’s an amazing feeling and one that you just never want to end. Unfortunately though, it’s just not that easy and there will come a time when your gains come to a halt and you become stuck at what is known as a training plateau. This plateau can look different, depending upon the individual, but for the most part its general appearance will be one of diminished gains in size, strength, cuts or all of the above. So what do you do when you encounter a training plateau? You smash right through it by following one or all of the strategies mentioned below.
Change Your Training Program
Our body is very adaptive and is great at acclimating to the stress that we put upon it. In general, bodybuilders tend to be creatures of habit and like to stick with training programs they know to work for them even when it stops working. The stubbornness of a dedicated trainer will simply keep them doing the same things over and over again hoping for a different outcome, when the fact of the matter is what they really need is change. Rather than doing the same workouts repeatedly hoping for the best, change up your entire program by adding in new exercises, new sets and reps schemes and maybe a completely different approach to your training by way of incorporating new training styles, principles and new intensity boosting techniques.
Change Your Exercise Sequence
When it comes to any given training day, most times people like to start with their favorite exercise for that particular muscle group, then move onto their second favorite and finish up with one that always gives them a great pump to end the session. Eventually this habitual type of training will cease to work and only add to the frustration of the plateau you’re stuck at. To combat this, what you should do is simply switch up the order of your exercise sequence. Instead of always doing compound lifts first, save them for last. Focus on crushing all of the single joint, isolation type exercises first in your workout and then when energy levels have dwindled a bit, hit the big movements and still try to use the same weight as you normally would. You’ll quickly see just how hard it is to do so and this might just be enough to get you out of the training rut you’re currently in.
Re-evaluate or Adjust your Goals
It’s easy to set massive goals when all things are firing on point and your training is running as smooth as possible. But when it isn’t, rather than adding to your frustration by not achieving the goals you had been setting as you go, take stock of your current situation and adjust your current goals so that they don’t seem so insurmountable as you work your way through the plateau. Make your goals smaller, give yourself more time to accomplish them and just be patient. You will get things back on track and your training will be back to a point where you’re making weekly gains. Don’t be too hard on yourself and keep grinding until you see the other side of it.
Change is always necessary at a certain point. It keeps things fresh, keeps your body guessing and provides a brand new stimulus for which your body will have to adapt to by way of growth. You’ve already made the change from wearing inferior training shoes to lacing up your new Rainbow Anaconda Super Shifts, so what’s one more change for the good of your training.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.