How To Break A Plateau
If you have just passed your beginner period of training or have been training for years and are to a point where you are not improving any more and not gaining any muscles? Its most likely that are in a plateau, in this article I will explain why we hit plateau and how to break a plateau and get to that rhythm where everything goes back to normal and we start gaining muscle mass again and also improving performance wise after each training session.
What is plateau?
Before I explain how to break a plateau let’s first understand what exactly is plateau. Plateau is a state in which you are no longer gaining muscles or improving your workout in other words your muscle mass stays same and you are no longer pressing more weight each workout. This could happen to anyone and believe me its pretty darn bad experience and what’s worse is you might not even know that you are in plateau, best way to spot a plateau is that if you are not pressing more weight or you are losing strength instead of gaining than you are in plateau and you should follow this article to find out how to break a plateau and how to start gaining muscle mass again.
Keep pushing yourself
We hit plateau because we start pushing ourselves and we are just happy with amount of weight that we are lifting, could happen to anyone from a beginner to an advance lifter some weeks we are just not in the mode to push ourself for that 1 extra rep. Easiest way to break a plateau is keep pushing yourself even if that means doing 1 extra rep for an exercise or 1 pound extra weight left, if you are not going to push yourself to out perform your previous workout you are unlikely to grow and you won’t be breaking plateau.
I am not a fan of taking help for extra repetition but sometimes its necessary to break the plateau, why because sometimes you are not able to do one more repetition after failure and forced repetition with help of training partner might be little push that you need for each set when you reach failure take help from your partner and perform one or two extra reps those extra reps will not only help you break out of plateau but will also help you build more muscles as more muscle break down means more protein synthesis and more protein synthesis means more muscle growth.
This is most efficient way of breaking a plateau but yet most dangerous if done wrong you might even put extra stress to your body which your body is not ready to handle. If you are performing same exercises in same order for last 3 months chances are you are in plateau because not only our body adopts to same workout schedule and stop growing but this also lower protein synthesis why? Because our body is designed to adopt that’s how we survive even in extreme conditions if muscles are not being challenged by each workout than body has no reason to grow. To challenge muscles you need to change your exercise a bit don’t change too much, too much change and you are going to get into bigger problem just a small change will help you break out of plateau for example if you hit plateau for barbell press change that with dumbbell press if you hit plateau for smith machine shoulder press change those with standing military press or sitting down military press but point is just small change in exercise will help you break out of plateau.
Take more protein
Sometimes plateau is because of diet this specially happens to a beginner at first you are growing at low protein diet even I have seen people gain muscles for first two month with regular diet with little bit of extra protein this is because our body grows really quickly when you start new exercise which you haven’t done before but after two or three months your body is not that much responsive to same exercise with regular protein diet and you need to eat extra bit of protein I would say minimum requirement is 0.8 gram of protein per pound before you see some muscle gains. If you are not able to eat enough protein from food I would definitely recommend using whey protein, I have used ON whey protein and results are really good and specially if you don’t find enough time to cook delicious protein meal and fulfill your protein requirement you can try ON whey protein supplement and it works really well.
Any one can hit plateau at any level be it advance lifter, intermediate or beginner but you can easily break out of plateau all you need is challenge yourself and try to push your body out of its comfort zone so body have a reason to grow. Breaking plateau is hard once you know what it is and how you can break it but you need to layout your workout schedule and maybe even list food you take in and try to figure out reason of plateau break out of it and start gaining those muscle and keep progressing slowly but steadily.