When fitness models and bodybuilders talk of ‘getting back into their routine’, this is in relation to getting back to training, eating and resting correctly. Routine, when referring to a workout, can also (sometimes) mean they do the same exercises in each session for certain muscle groups. However, these models and athletes will always be pushing themselves; adding another rep or more weight to these exercises, lifting slowly, concentrating on eccentric movements (negatives), or going heavy one week and light with perfect technique the next- in effect always changing and tweaking their workouts when necessary between sessions.
The reason for this change is to keep fresh is a physical and mental sense. If you fall into a routine of comfortable, similar workouts and training regimes, then your body will adapt to them, using as less energy as it becomes used to the stresses being put upon it. When progress has stalled you will have hit, what in training terms is known as, a ‘plateau’.
How to Break Through a plateau:
- CHANGE YOUR DIET- evaluate and log your diet using the MyFitnessPal app; this will highlight any massive discrepancies in your diet, and if suffering from bloating or lethargy problems associated with your food will help more closely identify the cause of your problem.
- UP THE WEIGHT YOU’RE LIFTING- by noting down the weight you are using on every exercise (each session) in a notepad/diary to monitor progress this will help you view your increase, or lack of increase, in strength.
- UTILISE A WIDER RANGE OF EXERCISES– this will hit your muscles and body in a different way it isn’t used to. Although it isn’t always necessary to do, it improves your adaptability as a trainer as well as providing a mental and physical boost within the gym and your routine.
- CHANGE YOUR TRAINING SPLIT- are you utilising the most optimal training schedule for you and your lifestyle? If you have been neglecting strength and or volume protocols in your workout re-structure your bi-weekly schedule.
- REMEMBER TO REST– listen to your body, understand the difference between DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and injury! Take rest weeks off completely from weights training every couple of months if you feel you need a mental and physical break, and ensure you don’t skip rest days. This will reduce the onset of reversibility also, as will a taper week.
- CHANGE THE STYLE OF YOUR LIFTING- employ other forms of lifting including strip sets, volume, negative work, rest-pause, GVT and the 6-12-25 protocol. Even just including a different style of lifting for certain exercises in a regular session is a good start.
- TIME YOUR REST PERIODS- by using a training watch, phone, etc. For hypertrophy rest periods are generally between 80-100 seconds between sets. Stick to this and alter rests as shorter some weeks and longer for other sessions.
- TRAIN WITH A DIFFERENT PARTNER- select someone who you feel trains well with you and is of a similar level to you at weights training and enthusiasm. Click here for a guide to helping choose the right partner for you.
Above is just some of the aspects you must investigate within your own training to decide what has caused your own plateau in regards to weights training, and gives you a list of aspects you can change too!
Our World-famous Cutting Guide V3 and Bulking Bible V2 both include optimal training cycles to ensure you have the greatest chance to avoid hitting a sticking point- with 24/7 advice and support whenever necessary to guide you towards your goals.