Hitting a Plateau
Reaching a plateau in your training hits everyone at some point, in weight training there can be many reasons for this, one of the main ones is lack of variation.
When you perform the same routine week in, week out you're body and muscles get used to the strains and stresses and no longer see a need to adapt and grow, your system needs to be shocked into repairing
itself.There are different ways to do this such as regularly taking out old excercises and replacing them with something new or about every 3 weeks rotate your training and try different excercises on
different days or one of the best ways is to try supersets.
Supersets are basically taking 2 opposing muscle groups such as Chest & Back or Biceps & Triceps and performing 1 or 2 excercises for each group, alternating and not resting in between every set, a good
example of this is German Volume training.
(I've put some info up in the gym next to the Smith Machine for more detailed explanation about this)
An example would be Chest & Back= Bench Press & Bent over Barbell Row, perform 10 sets with 10 reps in each set, 100 reps for each exercise in total, after the 5th set have a 60-90 second rest to take
on water before completing the other 5 sets.Biceps & Triceps=Dumbbell Isolation Curls & Tricep Kickbacks, slightly different for these smaller muscles 3 sets with 15 reps per set, 45 reps in total for each exercise.
Try to put on just enough weight so that you struggle to complete the full sets then when you can complete all the sets comfortably without losing correct posture and form then add extra weight.
Supersets aren't necessarily to help you build up your strength as they are a higher intensity burn and you won't be able to lift as much weight as you're regular weight training routine using regular sets with longer rest periods.Supersets are there to shock your system, they are more demanding on your system and should not be performed on every visit to the gym, and this will save you overtraining. A good idea would be to decide which muscle groups you want to target and then focus on them with Supersets for 3 week then go back to your regular training routine for 3 week to give your muscles time to recover.
Always remember to warm up and stretch before you start your routine and do some light weights to get the blood flowing to your muscles and down forget to allow time at the end of your session to stretch and cool down to avoid muscle cramps and aches later on.
And don't forget to keep proper form and posture even if it means decreasing the amount of weight that you lift, your muscles will feel more fatigue and burn by using the correct technique, don't feel that
you need to lift more weight to impress others or try to keep up with others in the gym, everyone has their own routine and goes at their own pace, all you're doing is risking injury, set yourself a target and work up to it.
Remember that if you have to drop the weights on the floor at the end of your set then they are probably too heavy and you are risking injury, use a lighter weight.
Sometimes on these pages we will be having guest writers, if you have a routine or a training schedule that you think would help others in their training or just some tips and ideas that you would like to
share please e-mail them to me, including your name and work area.
Also as I've said before, I'm not a trainer and don't have lots of qualifications so all the excercises and training that i write about on these pages just comes from my personal training experiences over the years and countless hours reading up on the internet and in magazines and books.
Thanks for reading, Train well.