Breaking through the plateau

So you have a strong workout routine, made some progress in your body battle by losing weight or gaining muscle. Its been a few weeks and now you feel that you hit a plateau in your fitness goals. 

Here are 7 helpful ways to push through that plateau without over working your body or increasing your frustration to achieve your goals.

1. Adjust your caloric intake. As your body's metabolism changes, so does the increase in the fuel your body needs to produce muscle mass. 

2. Taking a planned recovery week. Yes, as you continue to workout over the course of 6 to 8 weeks your body does not recognize the new muscles you have built and continues to breakdown rather than build. Benefits to taking a recovery week of no working out; proper muscle repair, refresh your central nervous system from heavy training sessions, joint and ligament recovery, mental re-balance and renewed motivation when returning to your training.

3. The Post-Failure Heavy Overloading method is a technique that I like to include in my strength training workouts where I am lifting heavier weights for fewer reps and using longer rest periods. Typically no more than 5 to 8 reps with 2 to 3 min recovery.

4. Dropsets are a technique in which you add additional volume after reaching failure within a workset. IE: Failure at MAX rep followed by lowering of weight at same number of reps 1/3 lighter than previous set. 

5. The superset protocol is when you combine two exercises either for the same muscle group or opposing muscle groups and you perform two exercises one right after another with no rest in between. The goal is to achieve more reps than that range, add more weight the next time around and try to stay within that sweet spot rep range.

6. Change your program design. It is a good idea to change your workout programming every 4-8 weeks as the body's muscle fibers get accustomed to movement patterns, weight, and even rep protocols quickly.

7. Challenge yourself in ways you haven't before. Changing positions of your exercises such as hands positions, feet stance, grip, and timing of recoveries are all modifications that can help elevate the intensity of your existing workout program while still challenging your body in a new way.