For a while, those body building techniques really worked well for you and you found yourself making very real and perceptible gains. But at some point, those gains slowed down and then actually tapered off. This can be frustrating and confounding making you feel like you hit a wall!
So what will help you continue to make the progress that you seek? Here are some body building techniques that experts recommend to help break through that plateau.
1. Take Rest
As many an expert will tell you, the muscles grow when the body is at rest and not when you’re punishing them with weights and workouts. It works like this – when you work out, there is a breakdown of muscle. Afterwards when you eat the right type of food, this muscle tissue is spurred to rebuild, strengthen itself and actually increase in size.
So taking a week of rest will give the muscles time to rest, heal and will also spur growth.
2. Recalibrate Your Diet
If you have been taking your fats, carbs and protein in a particular proportion, it may be time to tweak that. Cut out anything that contains saturated fats. Eat plenty of whole grains, fish, lean meat and other sources of quality protein.
Drink lots of plain water and evaluate whether you need a multivitamin supplement.
3. Change the Routine
Whether it’s for weight loss or muscle building, varying the routine is most important for breaking through the plateau. Tweak your routine, add or subtract certain elements of the routine, switch the order in which you exercise, or change your rep range. Also consider changing the tempo, or altering the time between sets.
The trick is to tweak your routine in a way that surprises your body and your muscles.
4. Stop Short of Overtraining
If you feel fatigued, are prone to injury, get aching joints and muscle strain, find yourself catching cold easily, have a problem sleeping well or find that you have a poor appetite, you’re probably overtraining.
This is counterproductive and will actually do the opposite rather than helping you progress.
5. Try Different Techniques
Many experts will recommend the drop set technique for pushing through that plateau. This requires additional lifting volume when you’ve reached failure in a set. Progressive overload is another technique that many experts recommend.
Rather than altering your entire body building technique, you could try making smaller modifications – altering your grip or placement on the barbell, foot spacing when doing a squat, changing the machine you use, and so on.