Blast Through An Exercise Plateau Effect With Three Simple Tips

Ever experienced an exercise plateau effect just when you were making progress in your workouts?  It happens to every one of us.  We work out, put in time and effort and next thing you know the muscle gains stop and the fat loss comes to a grinding halt.
From Plateau Point
Photograph Courtesy of John Kercher

It is absolutely horrible.  All the hours feel like it is gone to waste and as much as you put in more effort nothing happens.  So what are you to do to overcome a plateau effect?

  • Tip Number One: Get some rest and do not over train.  More often than not the reason why you have stopped making progress in your workouts is because you are over doing it.  Over exerting yourself with long workouts eventually take a toll.  Make your workouts shorter and do not be afraid to take a week off every three months.  If you can’t remember the last time you missed a workout then maybe now is the time to do so.
  • Tip Number Two: A good way to eliminate an exercise plateau effect is to try some new way of working out.  If you have been doing the same number of repetitions on the same piece of equipment then change it up.  Use a new piece of equipment you have never used before.  Been doing barbell bench presses all this time?  Okay, try using dumbbell bench presses this week! Switch it up and use what often referred to as “muscle confusion.”
  • Tip Number Three: Change the amount of weight you are using.  So many times we get used to the same weight being lifted. How many times have you used 20 pound dumbbells for your biceps curls? Well after many months of working out it is probably a good time to go up to 25 pounds.  If 5 pounds seems like a lot then just add a tiny bit more weight every few sessions.

It does not take much to trigger muscle growth and fat loss.  As you can see sometimes small changes in your workouts can shock your body and blast through an exercise plateau effect.  So take some time off once in a while and keep on challenging your body.

Secrets for Muscle Growth

You probably put in all the time and effort day after day at the gym and the results you get are perhaps decent but you are looking for those secrets for muscle growth that you never hear about.  Yes you have heard all the usual tips: lift heavy weights, do the hard work, take weight gainers, protein shakes or any given supplement.  Well believe it or not there are easy ways that hardly anyone talks about.
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Photograph courtesy of Katie Tegtmeyer

Consistency:  there is no way around this one.  You have to put in the time and effort when working out.  I don’t mean killing yourself either but you definitely have to go in week after week.  Devise a plan of going in 4 to 5 days a week and do not waver from this plan.  If you are going to go Monday to Friday, then stick to this plan.  Missing one workout will not set you back but missing days at a time or even weeks will.  You simply can not expect to make progress if you go one day one week then a few the next and take a week or a few off.  This just won’t work.  Put in the time and your body will thank you for it.

Workout for less than but no more than one hour:  yes this is correct.  You do not hear this often especially at any given gym.  The myth is that you have to do marathon workouts of 2 hours to see results.  More is not always good.  In fact, in this case, less is more.  Have your workouts last no more than one hour.  When your body does a work out lasting more than one-hour testosterone levels drop and cortisol levels rise. Cortisol is the stress hormone that eats muscle tissue and increases body-fat storage.

Eat often 5-7 meals:  eating is necessary in muscle building.  You cannot eat two or three meals to see great results.  Eat 5 to 7 healthy meals that are rich in protein.  Lean meats are excellent sources of protein.  The goal is to eat 1 gram per pound of body weight in the course of one day.

Get plenty of rest and naps:  sleeping is essential as this is the time when muscle is repaired after it is torn down from a work out.  Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day and nap at least one hour in the day.  When we refer to rest we also mean proper rest from working out.  Don’t over do it at the gym with long workouts or lift weights every single day.  Lift 4 to 5 days and rest two days or three.  If your body is too tired to go to the gym feel free to take one day off.

Massages:  yes you heard right.  Massages help in stimulating muscle growth and are part of the rest phase.  Get a massage soon after the workout and on your days off.  Remember that you don’t have to get one from a professional.  You can get one from your loved one or even do one on yourself.