5 Ways to
SWITCH UP YOUR STRENGTH TRAINING
If you’ve noticed a slump in your strength training results, you may be stuck in a fitness plateau. With the right game-plan, you can get out of the rut without overhauling your whole workout.
Plateaus aren’t a brick walls – they’re really just hurdles. Here are 5 simple steps to make sure you can glide right over them….
Try a different variation of the same moves
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just take a new spin on your current moves. Instead of a traditional squat, try a curtsy squat. Instead of a forward lunge, try a backward lunge.
Adjust the number of repetitions or sets
It’s standard to aim for 10 reps of each move and complete 3 sets. Instead, swap it out for 7-10 reps for 3 sets… you’ll need to increase your weight slightly.
Lift and lower slower
Focus on time under tension! Instead of getting the move done quickly, increase the time that the muscle is under strain by lifting and lowering for 5 seconds up, and 5 seconds down.
Pause at the moment of contraction to remove momentum
Adding in pauses makes any more more challenging! For example, if you’re doing a squat, pause at the bottom for a few seconds before you stand back up.
Keep it fresh
It’s easy to resort to the go-to moves that you’re comfortable with, but keep your moves fresh by adding in new movements completely. You might find a favorite!
What are Plateaus?
Plateaus are a normal part of any health journey. Your job is to be ready for them! Your body adapts to training and learns to meet the challenges you’ve provided in your workouts. That requires you to work harder, or differently, to accomplish the results you’ve experienced in the past.
The better you understand the way your body works, the better you can bust through the plateau, and achieve the ultimate level of fitness you crave.
Why Do We Plateau?
The human body is constantly fighting to adapt. The harder you workout, the harder your body works to change. Let’s say, just for an easy example, that you’ve been strength training three times a week. At first, it’s hard to make it through each rep. Your muscles might be sore. But eventually, you adapt. .
After 4-6 weeks of regular strength training, your body has undergone a gradual transformation. It has successfully adapted to the weekly routine. Your muscle fibers responded to the motion, your blood vessels strengthened, your oxygen uptake increased, and even your bone density improved.
What’s even more amazing is that your neural pathways have adjusted to the muscle activation. Everything about you — cells, bones, blood vessels, neurons, lungs, muscles —has changed to adapt to your healthy habit.
Your body is doing what it’s supposed to do. This process is known as homeostasis. Basically, your body is trying to find stability or equilibrium.
When your regular strength training routine becomes the norm, your body adapts. This new normal, homeostasis, is a healthier you. If you keep at it, doing the same thing week-to-week, you’ll stay healthy, but you won’t keep progressing like you were previously. Your body has achieved equilibrium. In other words, you’ve hit the plateau.
Here are 5 solid methods which will help you kick through the plateau phase, and make major progress to your fitness goals. Stay positive! A plateau isn’t the end of a healthy body… it’s the beginning of a healthier one.