Nothing is more frustrating than hitting a plateau in the gym. Spending days, weeks, and even months without increasing your weights is not conducive to muscle gain. So, how does one emerge from this plateau? Can it be avoided altogether? Here are a few tips to help ensure a linear progression with little, if any, plateaus.
While it may seem like the only way to get better at a lift is to perform it with religious frequency, this is not the case. In fact, rotating different movements when training creates new stimuli to which the muscles react. This new stimulus helps to increase the load on the bar for the three major lifts (squat, deadlift, and bench) and to program the nervous system to better adapt to an increase in weight.
Perform the Necessary Movements
Only performing movements that are enjoyable is a surefire way to lose out on substantial gains – in both strength and muscle mass. Practicing the movements that are the least enjoyable (yet probably most effective) will help to increase numbers on a variety of other lifts, especially when those movements are heavy compound exercises that elicit a significant nervous system response. Because these movements put such a massive load on the central nervous system, they force the body to adapt. They also stimulate a much larger release of human growth hormone, leading to a decrease in body fat and increase in lean mass.
The only program that will withstand the test of time is one that is performed consistently. Likewise, consistent lifting is the only method of achieving appreciable gains. Depending on goals and lifestyle, this may mean lifting two to five times per week. No matter the frequency of training sessions, being consistent in performance is key. Tailoring a training program to fit lifestyle is the most effective way to ensure it will be performed on a regular basis.
Perform an Appropriate Number of Reps
In general, strength gains occur in the one to five rep range, using approximately 85 percent of an individual’s one rep max. For beginners, however, strength and muscle gains may occur using only 40 percent of an individual’s one rep max. If consistent strength and muscle gains are not observed over a long period of time, it may be time to decrease the number of reps and increase the weight on the bar. Performing singles with approximately 90 percent of one rep max can increase strength in intermediate to advanced lifters. For accessory movements, lifting in the five to eight rep range should provide a sufficient challenge and stimulus for growth.
A personal trainer from Titanz Fitness can be the solution to your fitness woes. Your personal trainer will provide you with a specified nutrition plan, a training regimen, and the motivation needed to help achieve your fitness goals. Whether you are a former athlete or a training bodybuilder we have a personal trainer for you here at our Smyrna fitness center! Contact us today for a free personal trainer evaluation.