Does working on your fitness feel like you're just spinning your wheels? It's normal to feel like you're not moving forward in the gym, progress ebbs and flows. You know you've hit a plateau when you're not getting a pump, feel unmotivated, losing strength, and not making any gains. We're going to cover several ways to blast through that plateau and get your physique to the next level.
Eat More Quality Foods
If you're training your body and not seeing any progression, it could be that your body needs more fuel. The right foods act as the building blocks for your muscles and the energy needed for your body to function. If you're eating three meals a day, try bumping that up to five or six meals with increased serving size. That should put your body in a surplus, so it has more of the fuel it needs to grow.
Workout Different Muscle Groups
If you have muscle groups that you focus on, give them a rest and try working out the muscles that you usually skip over. Your body could be slowing down growth, so you don't become disproportionately stronger in certain muscle groups. Having your strength and weight load evenly distributed across all muscles will help you avoid injury and have a more filled-out frame. You're only as strong as your weakest link, target those neglected muscle groups and feel the difference!
Get More Sleep
People tend to forget that just working out won't take you all the way to your fitness goals. Sleep is what regulates your appetite, energy levels, and muscle development. If you want to get the most out of your diet and exercise, try sleeping eight to nine hours every night.
Take a Week to Rest
If you've been working out every day for weeks, or even months, it might be time to take a break. It sounds counterintuitive, but give your body a recovery week to rest and repair from tearing your muscles down. No need to train cardio, stretching and yoga are alright, but take this time to relax and detach from working out.
Train To Failure with Heavy Weight
If you usually train by yourself with no spotter, it's likely that you're lifting at 50-80% of your max weight during sets. Team up with somebody else around your strength level to up the weight and shock your muscles. No need to max out completely but try raising your regular weight by 20-50% and having your spotter ensure you're lifting safely. Aim for 8-15 reps and go until your muscles give out, make sure your spotter is paying attention, so you don't hurt yourself.
Try Drop Sets
If you usually stick to just one weight throughout all of your sets, it may be beneficial to change it up. Warm up your muscles by starting with a very lightweight to prepare yourself for the motion that's to come. Then start out with the heaviest weight for 8 reps, drop it down for 6 reps, drop it again for 5 reps, and go even lighter for 5 more reps. Try out these drop sets to give your muscles new stimulation and promote growth!
Warm Up Before Sets
As mentioned in the last paragraph, it's important to warm up your muscles and stretch regularly before each set. Start with a light weight and do a set to warm up your muscle and prepare them for heavier weight. If you have a wider range of motion and your muscles can adapt to different pressures, then you have a lower chance of injury, and your muscles will faster.