Four Easy Ways to Beat Workout Plateaus
When you workout consistently and eat well, you expect to see results. When you don’t, you need to know what happened, and fast. Because nobody wants to keep slaving away on a treadmill for nothing, right?
There’s a mix of reasons that lead to not seeing results from effort put in at the gym. The plateau could be a mix of what’s on the plate, and what’s happening at the gym. The gym is my field of expertise, I’ll leave the plate up to you and the dietitian.
Let’s me start by saying, you’re doing all the right things. If you’re getting the workouts in, and giving your best effort, good job. The body is an efficient machine, adapts to things quickly, and with that being said, you have to keep the body guessing. So, let’s shake some shit up.
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Start with a repetition shake up. The recommendation to do 12 to 15 or 10 to 12 repetitions is a good one. If you’ve done things in that repetition range for a long time, let’s say months, then a change is necessary.
Instead of increasing repetitions, take them down a notch. I don’t want you in the gym forever increasing from 15 reps to 25. Instead, shoot for the eight to ten repetition range for a few weeks. Take the range down even more, and try to complete six repetitions of something.
If you follow the recommendation above to lower repetitions, then heavier weight is the order. I’m only advocating that you lift heavier for a few weeks, and don’t worry, you won’t “get bulky.”
We’re trying to beat plateaus, not turn you into the hulk. Find the weight that will fatigue the muscle group you’re working in the eight to ten repetition range. Play with the weight stack, or the dumbbells until you figure that out. Then go lift. Keep the sets the same for the time being, just go heavier.
Keep a Journal
Have a small notebook handy to record workouts in. It’s hard to keep up with sets, reps and weights without a journal. If there’s a record of weight lifted, and for how long, it’s easy to see that, for example, you’ve been doing the same weight on the leg extension machine for three months. It’s time to take it up a few pounds.
Keep a workout journal for a few weeks then review it for areas where you could make changes. If you don’t know what to change, take the notebook to a fitness professional and let them take a look at it, and make recommendations.
Whatever you use, make it easy and be sure to actually use it. When there’s a workout log, it’s something to reference if changes are necessary.
Take a Break
Gasp! I know… I said it. Take a break from the gym for a week. Find something else to do outside of the gym, go take a kickboxing class, rock climb, swim, or just walk outside. Give your body a break.
Come back after a week, or a few days if a week just seems too long. See how you feel. A break might be the ticket. You never know.
Have you stopped seeing results? What’s the plan? I want to know.