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Bodybuilding: When and why you hit training plateaus

hitting a plateau is very similar to hitting a wall but if you take steps to stay clear of the wall, you can dodge it
hitting a plateau is very similar to hitting a wall but if you take steps to stay clear of the wall, you can dodge it

So you are training hard, day after day, week after week; adding weights and reps, packing on muscle, energy is high, momentum has truly set in. All of a sudden, the spark fizzles. You now have a problem. Nothing is changing.What's up? Anyone who has trained for any length of time knows what that's like; to be on top of the world and then suddenly come face to face with a brick wall. Well, try this on for size. You recreate the same routine day after day, week after week and it gets old, so your body gets bored. If you don't spice up your routine, your body will become accustomed to every exercise and even the order you execute the exercises. When this happens, you will find that growth goes on hiatus. It becomes extremely difficult to train when your body has gotten bored.

There is nothing exciting about picking up a weight your body no longer cares to respond to. So what do you do? Thankfully, there are several things that will get you busting through that plateau. The first thing you need to know, is what may be causing the problem.

  1. If it is mundane routine training, then you need to step it up a notch or two and change up your routine. One of the best ways to avoid hitting a plateau is to change your routine OFTEN.
  2. Change your rep range. Changing the number of reps per set is a really good way to add variety to your routine, giving your body the challenge of something new which will activate muscles that had stopped responding to the usual.
  3. Often diet is overlooked, not in synch with training or may need nutrients you are simply not ingesting. If that is the problem, you should adjust it, quickly, so that you are able to get back on track. Not only does it help you with your training, it also allows you to feel better physically.
  4. Switch up the order of your exercise. For instance, if you always train chest and triceps on Mondays, change it up from time to time and do chest and back or triceps and biceps on Mondays, just something that is out of the norm for your training schedule. Not only does this help you to stir away from plateauing, it is also a great way for you to have a more enjoyable workout because it's not your usual.
  5. Change your rest times between sets. If you are one who is use to resting for 1 to 3 minutes, regardless of the exercise, challenge yourself to cut that rest time in half. Although for heavier sets, resting a little longer is best, sometimes, you should go on to another exercise that does not require as much power and complete that exercise, then come back to your power move. This keeps the body moving and still allows you to get the rest from the heavier set you completed.

Plateaus are almost inevitable but they can be minimized if you know what to look for. Training requires finesse just as with anything that you put in time with. Nothing is worse in training than to have weeks and weeks of "on fire training sessions", and then hit a wall. That wall can be very discouraging if you don't know how to bounce back from it, or know how to keep from hitting it. So train hard but train smart. When you do, you will be well able to keep the wall of plateau from closing in on you.

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