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Muscle Building Plateau
Seven Ways To Get Over A Muscle Building Plateau
When you are striving to maintain fitness and build muscle, "hitting a wall" or getting stuck on a muscle building plateau can be extremely frustrating. You may be working along efficiently and making great gains and then suddenly you seem to be stuck. Even worse, your gains may begin to reverse.
This is the definition of a muscle building plateau. It is a common occurrence for fitness buffs and body builders, but luckily there are specific steps you can take to prevent or break through your plateau. In this article, we will share seven solid tips to help you move forward and continue building muscle. Read on to learn more.
When you hit a plateau, you may think that increasing your efforts will help you push through to the other side, but you are likely to find that the opposite is true. A plateau is often an indication that you need a break. Your muscles need time to repair and heal.
A plateau is very often an indication of over-training. If you are working out hard every day for weeks or months without a break, you are working to hard. Try working smart instead.
Remember that rest is a very important part of body building. Be sure to include a day of rest and relaxation in every week of your training program.
Right now, take a week off. You don't have to be inactive, though. Enjoy relaxing, muscle stretching activities like swimming, walking, running, hiking. In short, have fun! When you return to your weight training program, rested and refreshed, you are sure to see positive results.
Take a good look at your workout split
We all know that an effective workout program includes variety. This prevents your body from becoming over-efficient at performing your routine. In addition to alternating your form of exercise from one day to the next, you should change your routine significantly once every month-to-six weeks.
For the muscle building portion of your workout, you should alternate upper body with lower body from one day to the next. Doing a full body workout every day is too much. Remember that muscle growth actually occurs during the repair period, so giving your muscles a day off in between workouts is very important for muscle gain.
Vary your program from day-to-day
In addition to significantly changing the type of exercise you do from one month to the next, vary the way that you perform the exercises in your routine.
For example, if squats are part of your routine, do back squats one day and front squats the next. Alternate lunges with split-squats. Vary between lat pull-downs and pull-ups. Varying your workout routine helps keep your body challenged. This is key to progress and success in your workout. It also helps prevent mental boredom and burnout.
Stimulate your muscles to grow by adding in extra challenges. Supersets are combinations of two exercises performed back-to-back without a break in between. You can do supersets using one muscle group or opposing muscles groups. Be sure to shake it up for variety and best results.
The main thing to keep in mind with supersets is that you should not rest until you have finished both sets. Once your sets are complete, take a break and move forward.
Change your reps
Varying the number of reps you perform is another effective way to shake up your workout and keep your body challenged. If you have been focusing on strength by performing 5-8 reps of an exercise, challenge yourself a little more by moving to the 8-12 range.
Vary the amount of weight you lift
It may seem counterintuitive to reduce the amount of weight you lift, but doing so occasionally and increasing reps can help keep your body challenged. Remember that variation of any kind can help keep your workout interesting and helps prevent your muscles from becoming over-efficient.
Review your daily diet
Be sure you are getting enough protein and enough calories. If your body is lacking in nutrition, you will not build muscle and you are very likely to burn muscle.
Try increasing your caloric intake by about ten or twenty percent. You can always cut back if you seem to be gaining fat instead of muscle, but if you are working out regularly and varying your workout, this should not happen.
Be Nice To Yourself!
Muscle building plateaus can be very frustrating, but the good news is that they are usually the result of overdoing it and treating yourself too harshly! When you give yourself a break, treat yourself to some variety and feed yourself well, you will soon get back on track to achieve your body-building goals!
Robert Grobe is the president of Healthy Living Products and has been helping people across the globe to enjoy improved health and a higher quality of life for more than 40 years. His blog at HealthyLivingProducts.com is filled with information about healthy living and its advantages.