Workout plateau is a very common obstacle that almost every fitness enthusiast face at some point in their fitness journey. It means you are stuck in the same point and can’t progress further towards your fitness goal. For example, you are doing your best in the gym but you can’t build muscle further or you can’t lose weight more. This is called workout plateau. If you are one of them who hit workout or training plateau like this, there are some methods you need to follow to overcome this common obstacle. Don’t be demotivated. It’s not a very difficult thing to break the plateau. Let’s guide you to overcome it with these 5 proven methods.
Defining the Workout Plateau
Before jumping into the methods that will help you to break the plateau, you need to know what is a workout plateau and what are its signs because sometimes, it may not be a plateau and you may have misunderstood it as a plateau. However, in most cases, the chance is that you have hit a training of workout plateau.
So basically, when you are a newbie or beginner in your fitness, weightlifting or bodybuilding journey, your body can grow easily because it is not easily habituated with the training and lifting weights but after a few months of the same training of weight lifting, the body and its muscles get used to and comfortable with the same intensity and they can’t feel the pressure of the workout anymore. Ultimately, they do not want to grow more. It can be your strength or it can be your muscles that are not growing anymore. This can stuck your weightlifting or bodybuilding goal. People can hit plateau in weight loss too. That means you can’t lose weight anymore or your cardio workout is not contributing anything to your weight loss goal.
Also Read: How To Lose Weight Fast?! – Follow This!
If these are the symptoms you are facing in any of your fitness goal that hinders your growth then you must have hit a workout plateau. To overcome this issue, all you need to do is to implement these following 5 methods in your workout sessions. After going through all of these ways, you will realise that all have one single goal that is – not letting your body and muscles comfortable with the workouts. Let’s know all these methods in detail.
Change The Workout Routine
It is the most basic thing you can do to overcome workout plateau. Some of you might know that most of the professional trainers including me suggest to change the workout routine or programme after a few months not only to avoid the body and muscles getting comfortable but also to learn new exercises to push yourself in a better and smarter way.
Whether it is simply strength training or it is bodybuilding or it is just a cardio routine, you need to change the routines time to time in order to let your body know that you still want to grow so it better not get too comfortable. Granted you will feel DOMS after starting a new workout routine but it will go eventually after a few weeks when the body will stop reacting to the microscopic level muscle tears. So yes, In this way, you can easily avoid plateau or break the plateau if you already hit one.
Apply Progressive Overload
Progressive Overload is a simple technique that is very popular among the weightlifters and bodybuilders. It simply means you need to perform some extra reps or lift some extra weight from your previous workout session. In that way, neither your muscles will get too comfortable for a plateau nor your strength growth will hinder.
Progressive Overload is a very safe and healthy method to progress without having any injury or not even DOMS. It will break your workout plateau and with this method, more or less you will always grow in terms of building muscle or strength. In case you want to know more about how to utilize this method in a proper way, here’s our in detail article about Progressive Overload.
Increase Your Training Intensity
Increasing training intensity means you have to push yourself harder than before in the gym so that your body and muscles don’t get comfortable to your workout. It may sound like progressive overload but it is not.
It means you need to take less rest and do more work. Less rest doesn’t mean you have to do non-stop exercises. It will harm more than good. If your plan is to build muscles then for muscle hypertrophy, 60 seconds to 90 seconds is an optimum time to rest between each set. If your plan is to build strength as a weightlifter then for muscle strength, 3 to 5 minutes is an optimum time to rest while for cardiovascular activities and endurance training, 15 to 45 seconds is considered as optimum time to rest between sets.
So, if you are giving your body more rest than these, you need to lower the rest time between the sets to increase the intensity of your exercise. Optimum rest time, using proper form with challenging weights and giving everything you have are the keys to an intense workout. Let your body know that it is not ready for your intensity! This way, you can also break a workout plateau.
Change The Orders of The Exercises
This is a very simple yet effective way to break the workout plateau. Sometimes, changing the orders of the exercise is all you need to let your muscles know that it is not time to get used to. For example, in a chest day, if you usually start with heavy compound movements like bench press then you can try changing it by other chest exercises that you do after bench press like, it may be isolation movements like cable fly or pec deck. After that, you can do the bench press and other heavy movements.
This can not only shock your muscles out of nowhere but also help you to break the hindrance of your growth. Legend of bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger once said: “In order to grow your muscle, you need to shock the muscle.” What he meant here is that you need to perform the workout in such a way for which the muscles can’t be ready from early on. Changing the order of the exercises in your workout is one of the most effective ways to make your muscles less comfortable in your same workout.
Hydrate, Rest, Recover
In a fitness journey, even small things can put adverse effects on your fitness goals. Staying dehydrated during workout, not giving proper rest to your muscles, not working on the recovery of your body and muscles can easily create workout plateau. Firstly, you need to stay hydrated during workout because it can not only take the place of the fluids that you lose as sweat during workout but also keep your body away from heating up more. Ultimately, if you stay hydrated, your performance level will stay intact during high-intensity workout.
Secondly, your muscles need proper rest to recover itself as stronger and bigger. For muscle gain, a muscle needs at least 72 hours of rest time after workout to recover. If you train the muscle within that duration, it will be considered as overtraining and that will hamper your muscle growth because it won’t get its optimum recovery. This obviously will lead to workout plateau. That’s why, if your focus is to build muscles, you need to follow a certain workout routine like Push-Pull-Legs (PPL), Bro-split etc. We recommend different workout routines in different stages of your fitness journey.
Thirdly, recovery also means what you do in that phase. This will determine how greater your muscle gains can be! 7 to 9 hours of sound sleep, high-quality high protein diet, consuming omega-3 fatty acids and other good fats – these 3 are some of the best things you should do. Clean diet and sound sleep are very necessary for greater muscle gain, strength gain, fat loss and for avoiding workout plateau. These are the tips any fitness enthusiast with any fitness goal can utilise.
The Bottom Line
These are the 5 methods you need to implement in your workout routine or during your recovery time to overcome this issue called the workout plateau. All of these methods are utile for any type of fitness goal; whether your goal is to muscle gain or strength gain or it is to fat loss. When you need to change your workout routine, seek advice from your professional trainer because after all, he/she knows best about your body and how it responds. Hope, we have cleared all your worries and confusions regarding workout plateau. So, if you have found this article helpful enough then don’t hesitate to express your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting and appreciating our work.