Overcoming Plateaus in Training

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Want to learn how to break through plateaus? There are many ways you could achieve this and I’ll give you a couple of good examples which work. Truth to be told, I don’t really hit plateaus in my training since I regularly use training methods and techniques outlined in this article.

First of all, in most strength training programs (like 5×5) you are always working with the same weight. For example, if you are trying to progress to weighted pull-ups, you’ll naturally start with bodyweight pull-ups and gradually add five, ten or more pounds in weight. And you’ll do this with a certain number of sets of five repetitions. With this type of program you can expect to make a progress, but eventually, you’ll hit a plateau and won’t be able to progress from workout to workout. If this happens to you, the best thing you can do is to change up the load and the way you perform the specific exercise.

Your body doesn’t really enjoy linear progression, so if you are always doing the same thing from workout to workout, your body is going to adapt to that at some point and you won’t be able to make a progress. For instance, I recently did a 110 pound chin-up , but sometimes I do really light chin-ups on purpose. Sometimes I’d just use a band for support and do a bunch of reps, so it’s even lighter than bodyweight. Other times I’d just go with 80, 50 or even 30 pounds, to mix it up.

Since I keep track of all my workouts, I always know exactly where I am and hit new PR’s every couple of weeks. This type of training allows me to hit those big PR’s quite often, like more reps in a set, more volume etc. So, if you hit plateau in your 5×5 or similar training program, try to change it up to like 5×20 with lighter weight or a single all-out set. Just use your imagination, since there are so many things you could do to mix it up.

The other important factor in overcoming plateaus in training is your weakness in a specific workout. Let’s take deadlifts for example. I am strong off the floor and at the top, but my weakness is around knee area. To improve this specific area, I don’t really focus on regular deadlifts, but on partials and isometrics. With this strategy, I don’t need to use a momentum gained from lifting the bar off the floor when deadlifting, but instead I’ll have the strength to continue the pull. In this type of training I also use a combination of light and heavy weights. Include these two methods in your training and you can forget about hitting plateaus!

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