How to Break Through A Strength Plateau

How to Break Through A Strength Plateau

1. Start using a weight journal

One of the biggest barriers to success while building strength is failure to properly track your weights. If you’re not already doing this, start now. In fact, start yesterday. I can’t emphasize this enough. A lot of people “think” they can remember, but few actually can do so accurately. For the best, most systematic progress, you should track your weights. You can write down reps and weights for each exercise. The next time you do that lift, you can force yourself to go up in weight (or reps if your routine allows). This is one of the big mistakes amateur weight lifters is to not track their progress.

2. Reset your weights

If one (or several) of your lifts, consider dropping your weights back down. For example, if you’re stuck at 215 lb bench press and not making progress, try dropping back down to 185. Work your way back up. There is no exact amount you should drop, but a good rule of thumb would be a 20% decrease from wherever you are stuck. The logic here is that the barrier may not be your primary muscle, for example pecs on bench, but the auxiliary muscles that are recruited while doing the exercise.

3. Change your routine

You might have hit a plateau because you’ve been doing the same routine for months, even years. While the theory of muscle confusion has largely been abandoned, it’s still a good idea to change your routine from time to time. The reason this may help bust through a plateau is that you are changing which exercises are coupled together in a given workout. For example, you may do triceps and chest on the same day. Changing them to sepera

4. Introduce accessory exercises

This means doing new or more exercises for a specific muscle group. For example, if you’re having trouble making gains on your bench press, consider doing push ups, pec flies and other chest work. Consider adding more tricep exercises such as dips and diamond push-ups.

5. Improve your core

Your core is very important to strength gains, learn more about it here. If you’ve ever seen someone plant their legs and arch their back during a bench press, then you can appreciate the value of a strong core. If you don’t appreciate the importance, watch the video.

6. Eat more food

Nothing can hold you back like not eating enough calories. Use a calculator to determine your total daily energy expenditure. Then, eat more than it recommends. You want to be at a calorie surplus to maximize the available nutrients for your growing muscle. Additionally, make sure you are eating the appropriate amount of protein. Read more about protein and your requirements here.

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