Trying to build muscle but feels like your body has stopped making progress? Well, there is a high chance that you might have hit the bodybuilding plateau. It is the time when you’re no longer progressing in the workouts. It happens when your body gets adapted to a certain training routine. Here are certain tips that will help you in determining whether you have hit the workout plateau and how you can break through it.
What is a Workout plateau?
The workout-plateau occurs when the human body adjusts to certain demands of the workouts. And stop making apparent progress. Everyone at some point runs into the workout plateau. There can be several reasons for hitting the plateau. It can be a result of overtraining, overeating, lack of nutrition, changing workouts too much, or not at all. Getting through it can be confusing and tiring. It can be highly unmotivated and boring may lead to quitting your fitness routine. It is a sign that you should practice some new workouts in your bodybuilding clothes. You must progressively change your change training routine. However, the workouts you have been practicing start getting easier at some point; this does not necessarily mean you have reached the plateau. Our bodies usually take 6-8 weeks to completely learn a new workout efficiently.
Why did you hit a fitness plateau?
When you start following a training routine, you start feeling results straight away. But with time. Your body gets adjusted to the exercising and the results can be not too obvious with time as they previously were. People who follow a certain training style for too long have a higher probability of hitting the training plateau. As performing the same routine gets easier and becomes more like a habit. And the movements that were challenging once started feeling way easier. Overtraining is also a cause of training plateau. Giving your body proper rest & recovery is important for your fitness journey. And what you are practicing between your workouts also plays a significant role in your overall fitness progress.
Signs that you Have Hit A Training Plateau
- A Loss In Strength: As mentioned earlier overtraining is a common cause of hitting the plateau. It begins with the sudden feeling of losing overall strength. You are begging to notice a significant decrease in your performance. You are no longer capable of lifting the weights that you did once. It is an indication that your body isn’t healing and growing properly.
- Failure In Achieving The Pump: Achieving a pump while working out doesn’t directly translate to muscle growth. Not feeling the pumping of muscles can be also a sign of improper healing. Without taking breaks you might have noticed you reached your training target. Overtraining inevitably leads to the plateau.
- Lack of Motivation: You automatically lose motivation when you stop seeing progress. Well, there can be other reasons behind low motivation like personal matters, different interests, fatigue, busy work routine. Body fatigued is a dominant sign when your body tells your brain to stop training and recover. A body knows more about itself than you would ever. In this case, you must stop training and give yourself proper recovery time.
- No Progress: A thumb rule while trying bodybuilding is the constant progress in the workouts & weakly exercises. The progress doesn’t have to necessarily be big. But enough that it would trigger the growth. This could be doing just a little more than usual a few more rounds or a little more weight supported by a good diet for building muscles and aiding recovery. However, if your body stops showing any sign of progress after two consecutive identical workouts. It’s an education that your body has hit the plateau & it is the right time for a change. This rule is for no progress areas in any form. Having a hard time in one exercise and easy with others don’t indicate plateau it means you are progressing.
- Feeling of Flush: This is quite common among aggressive trainers. It is an indication of overtraining. When your body passes the point of comfort. It can be experienced physically, one of the most common signs of flush feeling is redness of face and ears, burning sensation, and being overstressed in numerous cases. In most cases, the primary cause isn’t as much as a solution which is taking rest. Even your life problems can lead to this effect on your training. Stress leads to an increase in blood pressure in your body which leads to redness of the face. The human body is smart enough to give you signs when you stop listening to it. Different bodies have different reactions to training stress.
- Lack Of Aggression & Increased Irritability: If you feel grouchy, slightly depressed, down it might be an indication that you are at the edge. It’s a sign that you have to hit the plateau. Continue trying at 50% of the regular intensity will give you a lot of gains and be helpful at all.
How to breakthrough muscle building workout plateau
1) Increase the volume of your Training:
The best way of promoting muscular growth is by adding training volume. In a lot of cases, an increase in training volume leads to an overall increase in muscular gains. Volume can be increased by adding more reps of the exercise you perform or entirely following a new training routine. Keep in mind that these increases should be gradual and safe. Add new exercises periodically in your training routine after every two weeks and wait for two further weeks increasing the reps. You can’t keep on adding to your workout routine forever, changing weights, and trying variations of certain exercises for a challenge.
2) Change the Exercises
Following the same workout routine for months is the most obvious reason behind the workout plateau. Keep on switching the things after a while. Your body can get bored easily. Introduce a new stimulus to the body and brain for promoting muscular growth. The changes don’t have to be necessarily drastic. It can be simply as swapping regular squats with a single-leg squat.
3) Slow down the Reps
An important component of your muscular growth is the time you spend under tension. Slowing down your reps increases the time your muscle stays under tension and it leads to greater levels of protein synthesis that is essential for building muscles. Lifting weight at a low tempo poses high challenges & causes more damage to your muscular tissues. Fast ten reps vs slow done with the same amount of weight, is not the same. The longer your muscles stay under tension the more the fibers will get ripped which in turn will increase your muscle size and strength.
4) Increase the Calories
Another principle for putting on muscle mass is consuming a surplus amount of calories. The human body needs calories for fueling muscle growth. Consuming 250–500 additional calories in a day can be enough. But make sure that surplus calories do not add up to your waistline. Consume them from good food and a quality diet.
5) Try the Drop Sets
Drop sets are one of the common strategies that bodybuilders follow for inducing fatigue on the targeted muscles which encourage muscle recovery and growth. Muscle-building benefits gained by the drop sets are simply because of added volume to the training session. You might get similar muscle-building benefits simply if you try adding some more straight sets to the routine. For doing a drop set, you must complete a set of a certain workout to the point of muscular failure. Where you are unable to do a single more rep. Then, reduce the amount of weight ( by 20–25%) & try performing as many reps as you can do in the good form