You know that feeling when you are working out continuously and you stop seeing results or improvements. It’s called a plateau. We have all hit it at some point. A plateau happens when our body has adapted to the training you are doing and is no longer challenged. This is when we know it’s time for change.
The problem: A lot of us just keep doing the same thing. The same workouts, the same reps, lifting the same weight and working out the same number of days. Variation and variety is critical to constant improvement.
A few ways we can avoid a plateau and see continuous gains.
1) Recovery. If you try to increase weight or the number of workouts you do every week and continue to do so without recovery you will eventually over train and not allow your yourself to progress. I recommend a recovery week every three or four weeks to lighten the load to allow your body to recover in order to take on more the next week. This doesn’t mean take the week off unless your body needs that. This means lighter workouts, more foam rolling or yoga and lite cardio.
2) Change up your workouts every three weeks or daily. If you have a schedule you follow then follow it for three weeks, take a recovery week then change up your workouts. If you do the same workouts over and over you will adapt and eventually plateau.
3) Change your sets and reps. Add in an extra set of each exercise each week or decrease your reps and increase your weight every two weeks. This is a simple way to add in variety instead of always doing 10 reps every exercise. Most people stick within the 10 to 15 rep range. Don’t be afraid to try heavier weight and less reps. 4, 6 or 8 reps as long as you can keep good form.
4) Do different workouts daily. The method we tend to follow mostly at RAM is constantly varied workouts. No workouts are ever the same. This keeps our body guessing and and will allow for constant progression.
Take a look at the workouts you have been doing over the last four months. Can you tell me exactly what you’ve been doing? If so, it’s time to change. Take time to review your workout and change one thing. You do not have to change everything at once. One little change such as increasing your weight can be enough!
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