Plateaus are so frustrating. You're hitting your workouts, eating clean but your progress seems to have come to a halt and it makes you want to give up.
Plateaus are your body's amazing natural defense against stress and strain. It begins to understand and adapt to the stresses you are putting on it so it *adapts and adjusts*. Plus when you reduce your body mass (lose weight), your metabolic rate tends to slow down so it burns calories more slowly when at rest. But that's because you're creating a tighter and more efficient body so that's a good thing. But you're still stuck and you want out. Your next workout, do something DIFFERENT. There is good strategy to doing the same routine for a few weeks when you're trying to grow certain muscles or build strength and endurance. You hit those muscles over and over again, feed them the right nutrition, so that they will grow strong enough to handle the stress and strength you require of them. But, doing a routine too long can also stall progress. Your body simply adapts. It thinks, "I've done this 100 times... I'm used to it". But you want more growth and more results, and to do that you need to shock and change things up.
Plateaus respond best to new and different. All bodies adapt at some point so as soon as you feel a stall, change things.
1.Try new equipment. Don’t be intimidated because you don’t know how to use it. Find out how - you only have to learn once.
2. Try a new cardio machine
3. Do HIIT on cardio machine instead of steady-state. 30 fast-as-you-can with 1-2 minutes at normal pace. Do this 8-10 times.
4. Lift heavier with less reps
5. Lift lighter with more reps
6. Do more than 3 sets, try 5
7. Superset two or more exercises for the same muscle (ex: dumbbell curls with seated incline dumbbell curls)
8. Do pyramid reps. Start with a light weight and with each set go heavier but with less reps. OR start with a light weight and with each set go heavier.
9. Instead of cardio machines, run, bike, swim, play basketball, raquetball, etc.
10. Change up your food. Try different sources of protein, new good carbs and new meals.
11. Be sure to REST. Remember - not every workout has to be "killer" and you need rest days to recover. Without rest, you can't grow.
12. Do one set, but 50 reps
13. Cardio before your workout instead of after, or vice versa
14. Add 10 minutes to your cardio
15. Take away 10 minutes from cardio but put the level or resistance higher
16. Switch the days you work each muscle group. If you have your muscle week all worked out, try reversing the order.
17. Change the number of days you train. If you normally workout 5 days, work out 3. If you’re going for muscles, then more isn’t better. Go heavier and give your body more time to rest and repair.
18. Add 2 - That is, do the number of reps you’d normally do, rest a second or 2 and push out 2 more reps! You may have to rest between these last 2 reps but get them. done; this is great muscle-shock. Use a spotter if you want to.
19. Get cardio while you’re working out by super setting lunges, air squats (fast, no weight squats), jump squats, jump lunges, or any variation between every set of your workout. Jump ropes are great too. Then skip the cardio equipment
20. Change the tempo of your reps. Try doing your reps more slowly than usual, concentrating on both the lifting and the letting down. Or do your reps faster but be sure to keep form.
Or do a combination of several of these ideas. Everyone gets stuck. Getting stuck is your signal it’s time to change, so you can grow and get even stronger and more fabulous Surprise your body and it will surprise you!
photo: photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/runare/13472386673/">Runar Eilertsen</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>