Plateau Breaking Strategies Post
- Cardio & Heart Rate
One of the things that happens when you perform cardio is that your body gets better at circulating the blood where it needs to be to supply your muscles with oxygen. What May start out as an intensity that requires you to perform at 150 beats per minute will eventually improve so that your heart may only need your heart to perform at 120 beats per minute to complete the task. so you will periodically need to check your resting heart rate, & recalculate your target heart rate in order to suit your needs. Switching from normal long slow continuous aerobic exercise to high intensity interval training may also be a good idea. even if you prefer traditional cardio to HIIT, performing HIIT workouts will get you used to performing at a higher exercise intensity when you return to your normal aerobic exercise. you may also receive some additional weight loss benefits from performing hit because you will burn more calories in the same amount of time, and your metabolism will stay elevated for a longer period of time after you finish your workout.
- Progressive Overload.
What this means is you’re finding new ways to shake up the system with your workouts. With most people the only way to overload the system is to use more weight. But there are numerous other ways to do that.
- Intensity. Intensity in the exercise science sense means how close are you to performing at your one-rep max. If intensity increases, then the weights that you are lifting is heavier. Most people believe this is the only variable that will make a difference in their fitness programs. You can also…
- Change time under tension (TUT). Most people don’t pay attention to Time under Tension or TUT. They will usually lift and lower the weight pretty fast. But actually are studies that show that this can have you burn more calories, and produce more fat burning hormones during a workout. Which is great as long as your goal isn’t maximum strength. Try this, if you normally don’t pay attention to rep speed, and your goal isn’t maximal strength (lifting as much weight as possible) try to perform your normal workout and lower the weight for at least 4 seconds during every rep, of every set.
- Shorten your rest periods. This can be very helpful if your trying to lose weight, or build muscle.
- Perform more volume. Volume is basically the amount of repetitions performed. If you normally do 3 sets of 8 reps. Performing either 3 sets of 10 reps, or 4 sets of 8 reps is increasing workout volume.
- Increase workout density. I made a video where I give great details about how increasing the density can help you make progress. Here’s the link https://youtu.be/54O1WjwTWaA. When you make your workout more dense you can either get the same amount of work done in less time, more work done in the same amount of time, or you can perform more work done in less time than normal.
- Changing the nature of the exercise you’re performing. If you normally perform back squats, you can perform back squats with the heels elevated, perform front squats, or perform front squats with the heels elevated, or even 1-legged squats.
- Perform the same workouts more frequently. If I work each body part every 7 days, what if now hit each body part every 5 days? Wouldn’t that also be increasing volume if you look at how many times I hit that particular body part every 30 days? This might also allow you to get stronger. If you want more details on frequency https://youtu.be/c8k4KzJsHm8.
- Nutrition (⬆️ protein) gradually lower carbs/calories Similar to how the body works with exercise, it also works with nutrition. Your body will eventually adapt to the macros, or calorie intake so that you will stop losing, or gaining weight. A good way to manage this is to do the math. If you start with your body weight in grams of carbs. After you lose a little weight and get stuck, try using 75% of your body weight. When things slow down, go to 50%. If you’ve been at it a while, and stuck with a really low intake, you can raise your protein intake. Start with 1 gram/lb. of body weight, then maybe 1.25 grams/lb, and eventually 1.5. Higher protein intakes also promote fat loss and strength gains. You could also slightly raise calories and attempt to gain muscle for 1-2 months, so that your maintenance set point for calories is higher.
- Rest Week. I was always taught that the general rule of thumb is that for every 12 weeks of hard training, you should take a week off to let your body play catch up with all of this hard training. Sometimes I’ll even have people take advantage of this by having them perform a lot of extra volume, just so the body will supercompensate, and allow them to make some extra gains.
- Increase Lifting Frequency. Even though frequency is covered in the progressive overload section, this by itself is a way to break a plateau. Studies show that hitting a body part more frequently will provide additional benefits, as especially far as strength and muscle gains are concerned. And if muscle increases up, and/or if you can lift heavier weights in your fat burning workouts, you’ll also increase your ability to lose weight by burning more calories.
- Supplements. Supplements are always helpful, but most people tend to get lazy and try to make supplements replace food. Which is dumb, and it doesn’t work. They also can’t make up for poor lifestyle habits like lack of sleep, poor workout habits (which also includes avoiding hard work) or overeating. But certain supplements may offer advantages in performance, like creatine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, recovery (whey protein, essential amino acids), or even your metabolism like 7-Keto DHEA, or certain fat burning formulas. I’ll usually wait before having a client use a fat burner, so that they get all of the other things (nutrition, lifestyle) in order so that they can get the most from it. I use 7-Keto DHEA after someone has lost a substantial amount of weight, in order to restore their resting metabolic rate, due to it lowering when people lose weight.