If you are religiously sticking to your workout plan, your strict diet and if you are having enough rest and, still you don’t see any results, that means you may have reached your plateau, that is, a stagnation point. Usually, stagnation occurs when there has been a muscular adaptation. Whey the body adapts itself to the workout plan you have defined and to the same stimuli that you provide your body on a daily basis, your performance decreases and your muscles stop answering to the expected muscle growth, so you stop seeing progress in muscle mass gains and also in strength and resistance.
If you haven’t yet reached a stagnation point, you will some time. Are you ready for that day? What should you do? Change your strategy.
When was the last time you decided to switch the barbell for the dumbbells? When was the last time you added 5 reps to your normal set? Keeping a steady workout routine is important for you to embody a goal, but keeping that same routine for months is the easiest way to stagnate your muscles.
Take note of the 12 tips for your to get out of that plateau and reach new goals:
1. Try new exercises.
Try to redefine you plan and pick new exercises. Just keep standard exercises like: free squat, bench press, stiff leg deadlift. Exercising your muscles through different angles is the best way to give your body new stimuli for hypertrophy.
2. Create short periods for each workout plan.
Sticking with the same plan for over 3 months is half-way to easily get to a stagnation point. To benefit from each exercise, you need at least 4/6 weeks.
3. Change your workout schedule.
For instance, on Monday and Thursday you train your chest and biceps (Workout A); on Tuesday and Friday, you train shoulder and triceps (Workout B); on Wednesday and Saturday, you train back and legs (Workout C).
Imagine you usually do an ABC workout twice a week or AB three times a week. What you have to do is train one group less frequently. You can change, for example, doing an ABC workout only one per week.
4. Change the reps.
If, for example, you perform 4 sets of 10 reps, it is advisable to change that system, because your body also adapts to that it. Try to increase the load and reduce the number of reps, choosing 3 sets of 6 – 8 reps each. If it is the other way around and you do less reps, choosing the reverse plan is the right thing to do. Increase the number of reps from 10 to 12 per set.
5. Stimulate your muscles before exercising.
To enhance the growth of an isolate muscle, stimulate it before you start a set of exercises. Before beginning the exercise, as usual, do a few reps with fewer loads.
6. More work in less time.
Try to complete the workout cycle in less time, each time you do it. The muscles will undergo new stimuli; the body will increase its work ability, power, toughness and size.
7. Resort to intensity techniques.
Use drop-sets, rest-pauses, supersets and tri-sets in the exercises. These are good techniques to use every once in a while, aiming to provoke stimuli in muscles in such a way to make your body answer to the growth.
8. Change your workout schedule.
It is possible that, by changing your workout schedule, your motivation also changes and it can make you maximize your workout performance.
9. Develop a nutritional plan.
Calculate the necessary proteins, carbs and fats for your biotype. Do it always with medical advice.
10. Find balance between volume and intensity.
Many athletes who do weight training and who look forward to reaching results or are afraid to get to that plateau usually choose daily workouts, almost without resting and with high overloads. You shouldn’t be negligent with your body. If the intensity of the workouts is high, you should reduce the number of times you work out per week and vice-versa.
11. Think long-term.
Haste makes waste. Your anxiety to see the results of your effort can make you divert from you real goal. Thinking long-term implies having a certain psychological preparation to understand that results are not immediate.
12. Resort to supplements.
If you stick to an adequate diet, but still you feel tired, you feel like there’s a nutrient missing that could speed up your recovery, that would help you maximize results and improve your performance during the workout, probably your diet isn’t enough for the intensity of your workouts. If you don’t use supplements that are adequate to your physical expenditure, maybe it’s time to start thinking about it.
Reaching your goals is gratifying, motivational, and pleasant. On the other hand, it can be very frustrating and can let you down when you stop seeing results. When you face this situation, remember there’s always a solution and there’s no point in being sad about it, quitting or abusing the supplements to get an immediate solution. Do not compromise your health, putting yourself at risk of facing physical and psychological problems. When your body is not responding positively to the workout and enters a stagnation phase (which is normal), reevaluate your diet plan, workout plan, your life habits and look for the help of specialized professionals so that they can identify an re-adjust what is necessary. Don’t let the workout fall into routine, use different workout methods, follow the diet and spare a few hours for resting. Those are the standard parameters to be followed.
N/d, Veja cinco dicas para acelerar o crescimento muscular, N/d, translation and adaptation of the original version
N/d, 10 dias para sair do Plateau, n/d, translation and adaptation of the original version
N/d, Dica rápida: Evitando a estagnação com pequenas alterações, n/d, translation and adaptation of the original version