So you finally became motivated enough to exercise on a daily basis. Progress is great and at this point there is really nothing else you could ask for due to the overwhelming satisfaction. Suddenly, you notice that your progress is slowing and the workouts that have been tried and true thus far are starting to fail you. What you are experiencing is known as an exercise plateau.
An Exercise Plateau May Be Halting Muscle Gains
An exercise plateau is essentially a point where results diminish due to excessive repetition in your workout regimen. Although all not very common, you could hear it referred to as “plateau effect” or “muscle building plateau”. Everyone who exercises regularly experiences this problem at one point or another. Avoiding a plateau can be difficult, unless you know the necessary ways of doing so.
A great way to avoid an exercise plateau is to use muscle confusion techniques. When you are using the muscle confusion technique, you are trying hard to make it so your body and muscles don’t adapt to any given workout or exercise, which ultimately leads to minimized results. Although you may not be gaining the almost instant results experienced with the first few months of working out, you can categorically experience satisfying muscle gains simply by trying a few new exercise techniques and changes.
To Break a Plateau:
- Decrease rest time between sets/exercises.
- Perform more or less reps with each exercise by increasing or decreasing weight.
- Increase or decrease the number of sets you perform.
- If you know them, implement one or more of the many intensity techniques such as: forced repetitions, negative repetitions, drop sets, pyramid sets, cheating, and super-sets.
- Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a spectacular cardiovascular workout.
When changing the workout in order to stimulate muscle gains again, one of two things is happening. Either the amount of work becomes greater in the same amount of time it takes for a workout, or the same amount of work is done in less time. Either way, more stress is being placed on the muscles, causing them to adapt and grow. Similarly, if muscles are not being used at all, they become weak and shrink. This philosophy can be applied to almost anything in life: if you don’t use it, you lose it.
If progress has been slowing down for the past weeks. months, or even years, don’t be alarmed and don’t give up! The solution may be as simple as changing things up a bit.
Now that you know an exercise plateau could be blocking your muscle gains, get out there and keep working out, change things up, and never get discouraged. Growth is only a hot adjustment away!