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Breaking Plateaus

If your resistance training workouts have stagnated, and you're finding yourself unable to add weight or reps to your exercises for an extended period of time, then you've hit a plateau. It happens to everyone from time to time. What can be done when you find yourself in this predicament?

Some people recommend changing your training routine before you stagnate, say every 3-4 weeks. This is purported to allow you to stay ahead of the adaptation curve of your body. However, this can be a risky strategy. You may be exchanging a perfectly good routine that would have gotten good results for an extended period of time for one that's not suited to your physique or temperament. Better to wait until you're absolutely sure that your current workout routine has been milked dry, then try some of the following:

-Change the rest period between sets

-Change the number of sets you perform

-change the number of reps you perform in each set

-Change the type of equipment you use. Barbells, dumbells, and machines aren't the only implements you can use for resistance training. How about medicine balls, kettlebells, weighted vests, exercise bands, sandbags, kegs, tires, logs, sledgehammers, rocks, or your own bodyweight?

-Adjust the training split that you usually use

-Substitute new exercises for those that you typically perform

-Use different angles, i.e., an incline press instead of a bench press.

There you have a number of ideas for changing up your workout when you hit a plateau. Give a few of these suggestions a try next time your weight training workouts stagnate. It may take a little experimentation, but one of these ideas is bound to help you bust through and get back on your way to progress.

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