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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Phuck A Plateau: Quick & Dirty Tips On Breaking Through

When you first started working out or even just starting a new routine, things were going great. You probably saw quick weight loss, increase in muscle strength, and a few inches cut away from you waist. A few weeks go by and then nothing seems to be changing. You feel despaired and want to see a change and results. The Fittest Blogger delves into breaking through your own barriers and plateaus in order to reach the results you desire.
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First off what is plateauing? To some, it seems like common sense to others it’s like speaking a foreign language. Especially when identifying it. In simple terms plateauing is a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress.

Signs that you have plateaued (And that it’s not really just “all in your head”)

  • You no longer feel sore
  • You don’t overload your sets
  • You feel unmotivated to workout
  • You are barely sweating through your workouts
  • You aren’t seeing progress from week to week
  • You see a decrease in appetite (Which should never happen if you’re pushing your body)

What am I doing wrong?

Chances are you might be doing everything right. Eating clean, following a routine, working out frequently, etc. But your body will naturally become accustomed to stress that you put on it. 

So don’t be surprised if you have plateaued when doing the same old routines from week to week without putting max effort. Effort and synergy is key to your fitness journey. Whether it gaining muscles or losing some weight.

You must constantly keep your body on its toes (figuratively speaking), so below I have placed some of my favorite plateau busting tips. You don’t have to do them all at once, but pick and trial test which tips best work with your body.

What can you do to break through your plateau?

1. Work out with a partner – This is your go-to tip. You can do this today. Just grab a friend, a partner, or your swole mate and hit the gym. Instead of just having your partner spot you, your partner will be in charge of assisting reps. At the end of each rep when you’re about to give up, your partner will assist you only at the peaks of your struggle for an additional 2-4 reps.
This forced overload will shock your system in which your body will have to react to the stress. And just having the presence of someone assisting you will give you the confidence to keep going and try to get to a new max. 
2. Start supplementing – Your best supplement of choice is obviously whey protein. Which rebuilds your muscles and also is a source of energy. But if you work out excessively and your body cannot keep up with you. Meaning you’re burning calories at a high rate and your body is grabbing calories from all over in an effort to give you the energy you need to keep going then you may risk muscular catabolism.
And you don’t ever want to reach a catabolic state because your body will break down muscles in order give you energy. Essentially negating your efforts at the gym. A great supplement that stops this from happening is BCAAs (branched chained amino acids) in which you should take pre or post workout.
3. Hire a trainer – Trainers are there for their clients, they genuinely want to see you succeed. Once you sign up with a trainer, you become a part of their brand. They are on your side and will do whatever they can to balance your needs with your body and help you get to where you want to physically.
4. Focus on synergist muscles – Synergist muscles or the assisting muscles that aid in the movement of major muscles groups. If there are issues in theses muscles such as injury or weakness then it will affect your full range of motion and inhibit you from properly working out.
Tweaking any weakness in your synergy muscles will help you throughout your body as you attempt to overload your body and break through plateaus that are holding you back.
An example of synergist muscles are the muscles in your wrist and up into your upper forearm. These muscles assist you in every bicep curl and through various exercises. So you want to make sure that there are no deficiencies here that may hold you back.
5. You’re bored of your workout – Your same old routine is boring and leaving you unmotivated to going to work out or trying new maxes. When you get bored with your workout then it is time to make a change.
Switch it up. Every 4 weeks try something new such as resistance training, HIIT tabata, maximum overload, etc. Then take a week off to prevent overtraining. Overload your muscles and push yourself. If you get to a certain number in your head, then “Always, always, always,” try to push out 2-3 more reps.
6. Cross train – Cross training is a great way to mix things up. Cross training is training in two or more sports which will help improve performance and fitness.
If you’re not training for any sports, try doing your regular routine with a workout regimen from your favorite sports.  If you go to the gym 4 days a week, then you will be doing your regular routine 2 days a week and your favorite sport routine the other 2 days.
Or you can add TRX training, Cross fit, Aqua Zumba, etc. as the other 2 days. Do what you like as long as you mix it up.
7. Progressive overload – Your body gets accustomed to your routines so now you’re trying to break that plateau, but did you ever think to progressively overload your workouts?
Some people do this already but you’d be surprised how many others do not. They will pick up the same weight for each set and do that for 3 sets and call it a day. But you need to constantly be forcing your body to pick up heavier weights each rep. 
If you’re going to be on the squat rack and do 155lb for 4 sets X 10 reps each time you come to the gym then don’t ever expect to see the changes you want. You must increase the weights each and every set as long as you are not sacrificing form.
Depending on your goals, your last set should be heavy enough than you can only complete 3 (if you looking to gain strength) – 8 (If you’re looking for mass gain and strength).
8. You keep writing your own programs – Many people who are inexperienced or just starting out will write their own programs or go online and get a cookie cutter workout that will work for the masses (Which they never do). 
But not everyone’s body works the same. You must tailor the program to your diet, your body’s reactions to stress on the body and the mind, and your frequency at the gym. Once you get this recipe right, you will be seeing the results you yearn for. Luckily for you all I create tailor made fitness plans. Contact trainme.tfb@gmail.com for more information and rates.
Add these tips to your workout and you will surely see a difference. And never forget that your effort does matter. It is not just me sitting here and telling you what to do, you must know deep down inside how much of your time you are willing to sacrifice. 

You must become the CEO of your fitness journey and increase your revenues from year to year. Your revenue is whatever it is that makes you happy. Whether it is living a healthy life or dropping 100lbs of fat. At the end of the day, it is all about you and how badly you want it. Happy Lifting! #theFittest.

Have you tried any of these plateau busting tips before? Or have any great tips to help your fellow fitness addicts. Then Comment below. And don’t forget to like and share if you found this article helpful.

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