How to Break Free From a Muscle Building Plateau?
It kills your motivation and mental thought process after you hit a dead-end on a project where you had given your 100%. Keeping your body fit and agile is no less than a project, and when you hit the lean patch where you try out every possible alternative but cannot find any result, it’s an absolute deal breaker. Days have gone where you have been breaking your sweat, but the end result is minimalistic despite your best efforts. The psychology changes then and there, and you feel like giving up, and this is where the concept of muscle building plateau pops up. Muscle building plateau is a temporary phase where you will not gain muscle mass or lose weight, bolster your stamina or power, and stop improving at all. There will come a point when you will feel that the gym might not have adequate equipment or the trainer simply isn’t good enough. All you need to do is calm yourself down and look for the loophole if there is any or go with the flow and wait till the bad phase passes by. To assess your current condition and get back to Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson attitude you need to abide by few rules:
Take a day off and get back to your groove
When the World asks you to push more it is time that you conjure your emotions and take the right step. When you have hit a plateau, you need to take few notches down and opt for a rest day. An active rest day will breathe new life into your gym regime. Refrain from the popular Indian roadside eateries as you are asked to go for a rest day rather than a cheat day.
Active rest day would include a breezy stroll through a park or an interactive session with your friends and family. You can always opt for Yoga if you are feeling up for it, and one can always find solace in meditation. Days when you will feel down and out, a rest day will catapult you right back into the track.
Work the angles
It is important to work the angles when you exercise as your muscles tend to get exhausted when too much pressure is exerted on a given area for a longer period of time. You might go through severe pain while pumping iron during full-back workout. Romanian deadlifts and Lat Pulleys are the dream, but you need to hold onto your horses and look for a different angle. You can go for traditional chin ups that would get your back into shape even without pumping iron.
Change in atmosphere
Admit it, we have all felt at one point of our life that the ambience isn’t good enough. The slow tuned songs of Arijit Singh or Adele might be tranquil, but it will certainly make you feel lethargic. You can always change the playlist or simply plug in your headphones and listen to what suits you. Many do not like listening to anything while working out, and they can look for hours where the gym is almost deserted and match their timetable and hit the gym during the silent hours.
Set your eyes on Supersets
Supersets have quickly grown into an intriguing concept and rightly so. A superset includes two specific exercises where each one of them would work on a specific part of the body or entirely two different parts while taking no rest in between. Try to grow for 6 reps each and start with small weights rather than going big. You can always pair alternate barbell curls with triceps press down or go for the Smith Machine squats and Leg extension. This will stress on a specific area/s for a longer period of time while not allowing any fatigue to creep in.
Going all guns blazing is not the answer always
When performing bodybuilding exercises it is quite common to see individuals going on pumping mammoth weights and completely ignoring their progress graphs. For large shoulders and biceps, one doesn’t need to keep on pumping iron till they reach the 100-kg mark. You can settle in for 5-6 reps per exercise and gradually increase the weights. The alternate reps’ procedure is another hit as it allows you to keep rejuvenated even after a hefty set. It includes 3-4 exercises with the first one starting at 30 reps at minimal weight, the next at 25 with a slight increase in the weights, and gradually ends at 10 reps at maximum weight. The next exercise will start from 10 reps with maximum weight and gradually decline to minimal weight and more repetitions.
Too much of cardio will do no good
You need to relax and let go of the fact that Cardio is everything. Cardio and HIIT are the best fat burning exercises, but as our ancestors have passed on the phase “too much of anything isn’t good’. Like heavyweight overtraining, cardio can do more harm than good as it drains away your stamina completely. You need to adjust your weightlifting days and cardio in the right proportion. You need to break free from the myth that weightlifting can only help you gain weight. Weightlifting has proven to be one of the best core building exercises and there is no harm in pumping iron regularly.
At the end of the day, everything boils down to proper diet and nutrition. You can always improve if you abide by the given diet and the intake of nutrients. Hitting a plateau isn’t something to be worried of as many remain unaware of the fact that they have hit a plateau until and unless they Google their symptoms. It is high time to gather your thoughts together and know more about your own body and its requirements.