As far as training goes, almost all of us have gotten to a point where we aren't progressing anymore. Lack of progression can really put a damper on your will to continue training, or your motivation to reach whatever goal you set out to achieve.
Plateaus are very common, but they are also very easy to deal with, if tackled properly.
I've put together a few components that need to be used in order to break past a plateau.
When it comes to your actual training regimen and programming, it is very easy to do what's comfortable. We see it everyday: that person in the gym who does the same circuit throughout the week. It may seem like they're getting a sweat in, but little do they know, they're lacking serious progression within their journey to their end goal. The key is variety when it comes to exercise. It's how like to say "getting uncomfortable to get comfortable."
- This training component may come in the form of changing the exercise itself–an example could be turning a chest fly with dumbbells, to a chest fly with cables.
- You can also change the whole type of training style all together. For example: changing something like sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (endurance training) to myofibrillar hypertrophy (strength training).
This is the method I find to be most effective. This technique really shocks our central nervous system and creates a drastic change within our program.
If these methods seem overbearing, there's always the simple shift in reps, sets, and weight used within your program. All three of these ideas are guaranteed to break whatever plateau you may find yourself in, when it comes to your training.
Nutrition, as we know, plays an even bigger role in our overall fitness compared to our training. Fuelling our body properly and efficiently is essential when it comes to a well-rounded fitness lifestyle.
In order for you to continue progressing, you need to look at how you're training and realize what it takes to fuel that kind of physical exertion. You would never see a big powerlifter who lifts explosively, depriving themselves of carbohydrates. It doesn't make sense and wouldn't fit his need. With that being said, logging your food to realize what kind of macro-nutrients you're putting away is one of the most simple, yet effective, ways to track progress. Based on energy levels and day-to-day advancement, you're able to make changes to your food intake to suit your needs.
On the other hand, supplementation is key. Knowing what you are trying to accomplish, having supplements to fill in the missing gaps is crucial. Going back to the powerlifting scenario, something like creatine would be used to boost his energy systems for lifting. These simple changes within your lifestyle can create a ripple effect that will take you not only to your goal, but even higher.
Now knowing two major keys to breaking your plateaus, you can take these ideas to your personal fitness program.
Make the necessary changes and within days you will see changes not only physically, but mentally, too. Let's go make some gains!