Just when you’re starting to see some results from your weeks of hard work lifting weight, you hit the dreaded plateau. You may be lifting heavy weights but you haven’t seen any improvement in the size or strength of your muscles for some time. It happens to everyone at some point in their strength training journey. Simply put, it is your body’s way of telling you that it has adapted to a new normal and that you need to step it up a bit.
If you have been battling it out every week trying to set a new personal record, it can be very discouraging to suddenly stop seeing the same results. Don’t fret though, as it’s easy to get your body back into the right mode with just a few important tips. Try just one of these tips and you will notice a difference.
Try New Forms of Movement
After a while, your body will get used to the same exercises because it has learned to adapt and accept the way that you are currently training your muscles. It takes about eight weeks to see results from any strength training routine, but this is also the point where you may reach a plateau. Change up your routine every six to eight weeks by performing a variety of different movements.
Try running up the hill with a 20-pound sack of flour rather than spend the next few weeks pushing iron. Or you could try to increase the resistance at which you train. For those of you that like to stick to certain exercises for whatever reason, try to change the order in which you train. Just this one change could make a difference. If you don’t use different forms of strength training you will also get bored quickly. This might lead you to give up before you notice any advantages, and then all your hard work goes down the drain.
Pump Up the Weight
Apart from just performing different exercises to keep your body working every muscle, you also need to increase the weights you lift – only by about 10% for every few weeks, otherwise you could risk injury. Change the intensity, speed, and frequency of your weights to get past a tough plateau. Remember that anytime you increase your strength training, you need to ensure your body is getting the right nutrition. You may need either more food, water, or different minerals to help your body adapt to the increase in mass.
You can include supplements that promote muscle building and help to increase your endurance levels so that you can train harder and for longer. A popular supplement is turkesterone, a plant-based performance enhancement that should be taken with vitamin D and zinc. The starting dose is 500mg per day, and as covered on this site there are many benefits that you can experience if you incorporate turkesterone into a regular schedule.
Rest is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise. Your body needs time to recover from your activities during the day. Without a proper night’s sleep, you may be sacrificing your strength training, causing the plateau without even knowing it.
When you exercise too much and push yourself hard, your body becomes stressed which can lead to insomnia. Then it’s a rolling effect that starts to affect your training performance and appetite. All of these things cause plateaus. Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s rest and make sure you give your body at least one full day without any exercise to fully recuperate. More if you have been working out particularly harder than usual.
Strength training plateaus can be disheartening and annoying, but with just a few changes to your routine, you can get past your plateau in no time.