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HOW TO OVERCOME A PLATEAU

A training plateau describes where you experience a dramatic reduction in progress from your workouts. This happens because our bodies adapt and become accustomed to the stress palced on it through training, as well as caloric intake.

Make time for recovery: exercise stimulates changes which occur during recovery periods. Key to this is nailing the fundamentals by getting enough rest and quality sleep, managing stress and getting quality nutrition. Establishing these habits will not only help you to avoid burnout and break your plateau but contribute to a better quality of life overall.

Increase workout intensity with a progressive plan: challenging yourself by reducing rest periods, lifting for more reps/sets, or increasing the time under tension or weights used each week will help you to avoid reaching a plateau. You don’t need to implement these changes all at once, play around and see which works best for you, for example:

  • Using a slower tempo/a pause to imcrease the time under tension and stress placed on your muslces

  • Using supersets/trisets/circuits to get more work done with decreased rest periods

  • Alternating between high reps with lighter weights, and heavier weights for less sets

Switch to more challenging exercises: there are lots of ways to make an individual exercise more challenging, e.g. by incorporating alternating and unilateral movements, or changing the plane of movement (e.g. from a forward lunge to a side lunge).

Eat to support your goals: if you want to increase your strength and gain muscle you need to be eating in a surplus to help fuel your training and aid your recovery. To be able to lose weight consistently you should be eating in a small calorie deficit. Our bodies require nutrients from all macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) to function, so it is important that you don’t significantly reduce your calories or cut out a food group to lose weight.

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