Keeping It Fresh! Breaking That Plateau

Keeping It Fresh! Breaking That PlateauBy Jason Axe

There are times we all feel our workouts lagging, getting boring and gains frankly slowing. When you work out alone, self-motivation to finish sets can sometime be tough; we all experience it. Everyone reaches a plateau at some point, but choosing to break through it rather than walk away is what will make you stronger, literally. There are certain things we can do to keep the workout fresh and new, just as you would do with a home, relationship, sex or whatever. To make new growth you have to change it up because your muscles are just as bored as you are.

First off, your doing weight training, not endurance training! Workout – meaning time period of when you finish stretch/warm-up to last workout set – should be 45 minutes or less. Get those set wait times down! You can rest when you get home, because we waste a lot of valuable time there dazing off, talking or playing with that iPod. If you keep the workouts short and sweet, you’ll look forward to going and it will seem less of a drag.

Keeping It Fresh! Breaking That PlateauSecond, keep rep range varied! Do high reps one week, then low the next. Break that plateau by changing reps slow, fast, slow up fast down, or fast down slow up. Your muscles are as bored with the workout as you are, so keeping it fresh rather than going through the motions.

Third, keep a low number of sets – three, maybe four, if you’re really in the zone. If I’m doing deadlifts, I do it and move on. You can come back to it but don’t get caught up in one exercise when there are so many out there! The body needs muscle confusion, variation and diversity. Use pin machines if it gets you to switch for that last set to failure, but your form better be controlled since you are not using free weights.

To conclude, the struggle is real! Reaching some form of soreness is the goal. Make sure the muscle group you are working has had enough rest. How can a muscle grow if its tired? Your muscles will be overloaded and results will be diminished. Results will come and the gym will be there tomorrow. Live to fight another day because an injury will have you out for days to weeks. The first wealth is health!