No longer improving in strength, fitness or performance?
If you answered yes, you may be experiencing a plateau in your workouts. That is that you have been lifting the same weights, seeing no improvements in your strength or weight loss/weight gain goals and this can be very discouraging.
There are one of two ways to deal with a plateau.
- Keep doing the same thing and expect different results, which is also Albert Einstein's definition of insanity.
- OR you can change your program design and push through this training lull!
Main reasons why we hit the wall with our training is because of a lack of training stimulus. The body is incredible in it's ability to adapt and exercise is no exception. With your workouts you should always be looking to introduce something new to increase the difficulty of the exercise.
- Increasing the weight/ resistance of the exercise every week or so will provide the body with enough stimulus for it to adapt and improve.
- Manipulating the rep range,number of sets and rest duration will affect the adaptations your body will receive. Lowering the repetitions and increasing the resistance and rest will allow you to lift stronger. Alternatively, increasing the repetitions and decreasing or maintaining the resistance and rest will help your muscular endurance.
- Altering the tempo of the exercise; a slower eccentric phase (lowering) exposes the muscles to more tension, making for a greater stimulus and a more difficult exercise.
- Changing the exercise itself can surprise the muscles which have become accustomed to a certain movement (think barbell bench press into dumbbell bench press), allowing for further increases in strength/fitness/performance via a new stimulus.
The take home message is that we should always look to mix up our routine after 4 weeks or so, through manipulating weight, resistance rep ranges, sets, rest, tempo and exercises themselves.
If you've hit a plateau and are looking to shake things up or you just need some more information, just contact the CFC team or talk to us next time you're in!