How to Break Through An Exercise Plateau
Here is what you need to do...
Approach whatever area you are experiencing your plateau in with NO CAUTION. Run headfirst into these types of exercises with hunger in your belly and strength-gain on your mind.
I will offer you one exercise for each major muscle that will help to explode your body right out of its plateaued state.
Chest- add resistance bands or chains to your bench press, this way you force your muscles to compensate in a different way for the type of resistance you will be experiencing. Lift with power and explosion.
Back- start doing pull-ups with a weight strapped around your waist or a dumbbell held in between your feet. This added weight will recruit extra muscle in order to compensate, which will force your pull-up game to grow and flourish.
Legs- Begin doing jump squats with weight. Have a low amount of weight on the bar, then squat low and explode up and jump. You can choose to jump up to a platform or simply jump into the air as high as possible.
Biceps- Grab yourself a bunch of 2.5lb plates, because you're about to do the dropset of your life. Sit down on the preacher curl machine and load up the bar with 2.5lb plates until you reach a weight that you can curl for 4 solid reps. Then commence to drop the plates one by one until the hell is over. Your gains will thank me later.
Triceps- same thing as biceps, except with skull crushers.
Shoulders- Speed is key. In order to power your shoulders past a plateau, you need to do a string of exercises that never stops putting stress on the front, middle, and rear delts. For this I recommend a plate workout. Grab yourself a 25 or 45 pound plate and do as follows: 30 seconds of jogging in place with the weight held overhead, 10 halos clockwise, 10 counterclockwise, hold the weight in front of you like a steering wheel and turn it side to side for 15 seconds, lower it to your feet and swing it up over your head 10 times, monkey paw for 10 reps with each hand, jog in place for another 30 seconds with the plate overhead, then repeat these steps as many times as necessary.
Abs- in order to strengthen your core to the point of passing a plateau, you have to add weight. I recommend doing planks for as long as possible with either 1, 2, or 3 forty-five pound plates stacked on your back. Stay within your zone of non-injury, but venture outside of your comfort zone. If you do this, your core will harden like a rock.
After doing these explosive movements, go right into heavy lifting for that body part. By keeping the normal pressure on, and adding extra heat with these movements, whatever plateau you face will be broken in a few weeks tops.
Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.
Breaking an exercise plateau can be one of the most difficult and frustrating processes to deal with as a weightlifter. You find yourself benching 10 extra pounds every week, then BAM- you're stuck at 225 for two months. What do you do? You explode. No, you don't literally try and make yourself explode. But you do explosive movements and recruit all kinds of muscles that you were ignoring before.
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Funny or interesting story about this topic...
At one point in time I weighed 210 lbs. and was able to bench just over 250. I was a beefy guy at only 6 feet, and I wasn't in peak physique form. However, after a few years I worked my way down to a comfortable and healthy 175 lbs. All the guys I used to work out with started commenting about how skinny I got. "You must be weak now," they'd insist. And I was. I was barely benching 205 lbs. and my other exercises were down the same way. However, by implementing explosive exercises into every single day's routine, I was soon back at my old strength-level, and my weight stayed the same. Power developed in ways that my friends doubted it ever could. Now, a few years later, I still sit somewhere between 175-185 lbs. at all times, yet my strength is right up there with my friends who always clock in at 200lbs. Explosions are necessary for strength. Big changes and big power- well that equals big muscle.
When did you first do this & how did you get started?
When I was a freshman in high school I started going to the gym regularly. I was slowly getting stronger and stronger, and I saw myself keeping up with this constant progression to the point of becoming a mr. Olympia. However, after about six months I realized my strength was tapering off. My pull ups were stuck at around 15, my bench press at 185. I couldn't understand what to do. Then I realized I was doing the same movements over and over again and expecting different results- something Einstein might call insane. So I changed up my game and started doing more explosive movements.