Your relationship with weight lifting may be similar to how you feel about your career—one day you’re climbing the ladder and the next you are stuck. It hits all lifters at some point, but does not have to stop you in your tracks.
If you have hit a weight lifting plateau and are looking to keep moving forward, grab your weight lifting gloves and try one or two of the following four ways to break through your weight lifting plateau.
4 Ways to Shatter Your Weight Lifting Plateau
1. Evaluate Your Goals. Are the lifting goals you’re setting for yourself realistic? If you are trying to increase the amount of weight you lift or the frequency of your workouts, make sure your goals are attainable. It’s much easier to break through weight lifting plateaus when you realize you are making measurable progress, and it’s important to look at the small improvements instead of the big ones. Then, it is imperative to match your training to your goals. For instance, if your goal is to bench press 20 percent more by the end of the month, remember to include exercises that also strengthen the supporting muscle groups such as your deltoids and triceps.
2. Eat to Support Your Goals. Yourweight lifting plateaumay be reinforced by an inadequate intake of calories. When you are trying to build muscle, you need to create a positive calorie balance—meaning that you are intaking more calories than you are burning. This is a trial and error process. Start with an additional 250 to 500 calories each day to see if that takes you beyond your weight lifting plateau.
3. Vary Your Routine. Muscles quickly adjust to weight lifting routines. Your muscles do not have to work as hard or use as many calories to perform the same exercises you performed six weeks ago. One of the simplest ways to break through yourweight lifting plateauis to change your workout routine. Try performing new exercises, varying the order, increasing or decreasing repetitions, or shortening your rest period.
4. Take a Break. Give your mind and body a rest from worrying about weight lifting plateaus and take a hiatus. This may be a week or two weeks, but take a long enough break that you return to your routine feeling refreshed and excited. Often, this short break is enough to push you through the wall and bring you closer to your goals.
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