By GI Team Generation Iron
Sometimes we hit that point we just can’t break through.
So what do you do when you get to that point? Just sit there and wallow in self pity? Do you just give up and tell yourself you’ll never make any gains again? Sure, if you’re a quitter. But no one that sticks with bodybuilding, who views it as a life style, none of us even understand the word quit. So what to do about your plateauing woes? We’ve got you covered with some great tips.
First thing’s first
Are you diligent with your diet? Getting enough rest? Any injuries making you slack off? These are all great questions to ask yourself before jumping to conclusions. There’s nothing worse than building up something horrible in your mind like plateauing only to find out that you’ve been suffering from something else all along. Some guys use plateauing to excuse their bad habits. Access that you’re doing things the right way then you’ll have an easier time with what comes next.
Back to basics
Sometimes hitting a wall is simply about doing your exercises all wrong. You cheat on your curls, you’re nonchalant with your squatting form and all of a sudden you’ve gone from major gains to a barren wasteland devoid of improvement. Sometimes guys get hung up on making their workouts seem as crazy as possible, filled with nonsensical exercises that are more fluff than anything else. Sometimes going back to the basic lifts, the squat, the bench, etc., can be the tonic you need to get back on track. Focus on form and technique. Be sure to contract your muscles so you can get a serious pump and maybe you’ll see some gains again.
Switch up the order
Breaking through a plateau can be as simple as changing up you workout routine. Now this doesn’t mean adding new workouts into your regimen per say. Instead you can try switching the order of your lifts. Your body can get used to the same pattern of things if you do it for long enough. By switching the order of workouts you could see your gains come back fast. Instead of leg day on Wednesday shoot for Monday instead. Instead of squatting first, save squatting for last. By changing things up your body won’t get constantly used to one thing and will keep it in a constant state of change.
Shore up your lagging parts
Hitting a plateau can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. Your biceps stop growing? Not seeing more definition in your chest? Your abs getting maxed out? Well now’s a perfect time to give some of your other body parts attention, namely your weak points. Maybe you have a well defined back, but it’s not in nearly the same shape as your abs. Perhaps your quads are solid, but your hamstrings could use some work. Now is the time to get those lagging body parts in top condition. Don’t complete;y abandon your regular routine, but put a lot more emphasis on your weak points and you can see overall development. It also gives your other superior parts some time to rest and recover until you attack them again.
Another reason you may be hitting a plateau is that, like your routine, you body has gotten used to the set numbers you’ve put on it. What the hell does that mean? We are talking about the amount of reps. We’re talking about the amount of weight you’re hauling. If you have high volume and lower weight or low volume and heavy weight, now is the time to make a change. Switching things up is key to breaking through plateaus, so try and do the opposite. Focus on lifting big if you focus on volume. Focus on more reps, lighter weight, and better form and contraction if you’re a heavy lifter.
Change your focus
We know that bodybuilding isn’t powerlifting. Bodybuilding isn’t about how much weight you can haul, but what you do with the weight and your diet to shape yourself into the perfect form. But here’s the thing. Sometimes you’ve reached a plateau and you’ve tried everything. What then? Maybe it’s time to change your priorities a bit. Instead of focusing purely on hypertrophy, try doing some strength training instead. Powerlifting may be different than bodybuilding, but it may be exactly what your body needs. By focusing on strength you’ll be in a whole new mind set. Sometimes your mental game needs to change before you can go back to making gains. Besides, you’ll still be actively lifting. It’s not like you’ll be losing muscle or definition.