How to Break a Plateau?10/5/18
There is nothing worse than training your butt off and not getting anywhere. Enjoying the perks of the gains one makes when they first start off is awesome. It seems like when you would look at a weight your muscles would grow. Suddenly, the gains stop. A routine that has been flawless for months seems to be nothing but flawed.
This hits close to home for many people, especially people who are reasonably new to working out. Plateaus are known as motivation killers in the fitness world. But they can be worked through and overcome. The routine is not flawed, it is just the body is tired of the same old stuff. This is to not say routines are bad. Routines help develop consistency, which is also key to seeing gains. But our bodies so easily adapt to what we throw at them, to where in the midst of no longer responding, they are trying to tell us something.
Plateaus are usually representative of something lacking in training and nutrition. Nutrition is based around calories which are broken up into protein, carbs, and fats. In general, calories are calories. You either need less or you need more, and the profile of the calorie intake (protein, carbs, and fats) determine much of body composition (fat to muscle ratio).
When it comes to training, intensity is usually the culprit, or lack there-of, because the body is accustomed to the work being done. So, one should look at the movements they are performing, the weight load being used, and even the duration of the workouts. One needs to go through and evaluate what their goals are and see what needs to be shifted around to keep progress going. If you are looking for size and/or strength, make sure that you are being challenged still with reps and sets required to achieve what you want. This is a correlation of the weight or workload you are working with. So, if you are looking to get a bigger back for the past 8 weeks you have been doing 180lb max lat pulldowns with a rep/set scheme of 4 sets of 12-15 reps. One day you decided to go beyond the 15 reps and you made it to 30 reps, chances are, you are not using enough weight anymore. This is the same for strength as well. If you are doing 5 sets 3-5 reps when it comes to squatting, and you are working with 315lbs but one day you decided to max out and you squatted 650lb for 1 rep, you are not using enough weight in your working sets. You have to challenge yourself and not get comfortable or even too proud of the gains you have made.
A third area not talked about a lot but that can be seen as a plateau breaker is sports nutrition. Supplements can help assist in many facets of fitness when it comes to nutritional intake and performance enhancing and support. 1UP Nutrition has you covered on virtually every aspect when it comes to protein, fat burning, joint support, testosterone health and performance, and recovery. So while you are reassessing your training and nutrition, check your sports nutrition game as well and get 1UP involved in what you are doing.