Personal Trainer Reveals How to Overcome Your Training Plateaus

Top 5 Ways to Overcome Your Training Plateaus!

plateau

Hitting a fitness plateau is a common phenomenon. Your strength increases, muscle gains and/or fat loss come to a screeching halt. Why does this happen? How can you get back to achieving fitness results?

Why Do Training Plateaus Occur?

Unfortunately, overwhelming results will begin to taper off. Your body will adapt to your workouts fairly quickly and you’ll stop seeing progress. The rule of diminishing returns can also halt your progress in your gym. Over time your body will start to slow progress because of your genetic potential. You’re physically unable to gain a pound of muscle or lose a pound of fat each week for the rest of your life. So ultimately your progress will begin to slow as you get closer to your goal.

Personal Trainer Plateau Breaker Tip #1 – Consistently Change Your Exercises

The quickest way to plateau is performing the same exercises. Your body will adapt to the training stimulus. Performing squats and pushups everyday are a great way to get going. However, it may be time to change. Change the type of push up you are doing or use a new piece of equipment, such as a bosu ball. The change, in the stimulus, confuses the body and allows for continued success.

Personal trainer Plateau Breaker Tip #2 – Vary Your Repetitions and Sets

Continue to keep your body guessing by varying your sets and repetitions. If you’re doing 3 sets of 10 on every exercise for months on end, then it’s time for a switch. Schedule your workouts so you have a power day where the rep scheme is in the 6-8 range. Then add in a hypertrophy day (lean muscle gain) where the reps stay in the 10-12 range. Also add a high rep endurance day where all the reps are 15 and above. You can also incorporate different rep ranges on the same day.

Sets are another variable which can be adjusted. Instead of doing 3 sets on everything, try 4 sets on the exercises for large muscle groups (Legs, Chest, Shoulders, Back,) and 2 sets for secondary exercises for smaller muscle groups (Abs, Arms) . The possibilities are endless, so get creative!

Personal Trainer Plateau Breaker Tip#3 – Change the Order of Your Exercises

This is an often overlooked aspect of training. Many people don’t realize the order of their exercises are the same each workout. If you’re always doing squats before lunges on leg day, try adding lunges first followed by squats. This is a great technique if you see a certain exercise that is not getting the same kind of results. Squatting first makes sense, but starting with lunges, every once in a while, may increase your overall strength development.

 Personal Trainer Plateau Breaker Tip #4 – Take a Week Off

Sometimes the reason for your plateau is you’re actually working out too much! If you’re feeling tired, sore all the time, or lacking the motivation to train, it’s likely you’re overtraining. Occasionally, you overwork your body and are unable to recover quick enough. A week off from the gym can do the body good. Your muscles can finally fully recover. If you can’t stay out of the gym for a week, have a light week. A light week consists of lightening the weights, reducing sets or repetitions, performing less exercises, or reducing your intensity (never would have guessed, I’m sure). This will also allow for the body to fully recover while still staying active.

Personal trainer Plateau Breaker Tip #5 – Find a Workout Partner or Personal Trainer

A workout partner or personal trainer can be a huge asset to your progress in the gym. A workout partner can help spot you on certain exercises, increase motivation, and make working out more enjoyable. A personal trainer can do all of the above plus ensure proper form, tailor a workout plan specifically for you, keep you accountable, and make sure you reach your goals!

Training plateaus can be very frustrating but don’t get discouraged. Try implementing a couple of these plateau breakers and you’ll be back on the path to results in no time!

 

Written By: Robert Jost NSCA-cpt, ACE-cpt

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