02 Jun Six tips to get over a plateau on your workout
Once someone is consistently on a workout program, inevitably there will come a time when a sticking point is reached.
I’m talking about a point when the person is having trouble getting stronger in a certain lift, or running or riding faster on a certain course.
This can be a frustrating occurrence, but fear not.
Here are six tips to get over a plateau and take the next step in your exercise program:
Analyze your form – Pick out things you do well and also that you need work on. Then set out to improve your weak points. Sometimes little things like changes in form will help you perform better.
Change things up – Instead of doing the same basic workout routine, vary the exercises, amount of weights and repetitions you do. Variety is the spice of life and also the way to a stronger body.
Perform heavier weightlifting sets some days to build raw strength and muscle and then on other days go to lighter weights and higher reps to counterbalance with muscle endurance. You’ll avoid hitting plateaus as often by creating muscle confusion.
On the bench press for instance, if you’ve been doing 3 sets of 10, try going 3×3 or 5×5. A pyramid 8-6-4-2-1 is also a good choice, adding weight as you go down in reps.
Take a break between heavy sets – When you’re in the middle of a heavy set of squats or bench presses, there’s no way you should try to whip through the sets. It’s OK to take 3-4 minutes to rest and mentally prepare between “big sets.”
Compound approach – Focus your time and energy on compound lifts – ones that incorporate multiple body parts in one exercise – rather than isolation movements. Examples of compound exercises are squats, deadlifts, clean-and-jerks and bench press.
Visualize – Picture yourself having a good workout beforehand and prior to lifts visualize yourself powering up the desired number of reps.
Visualize yourself meeting short- and long-term goals – and now.
Eat better – Give yourself better fuel and it will naturally improve your performance.
At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at email@example.com