So you have been working out for a while and have put on some muscle. But the last weeks or even months you have noticed that no matter how hard you work out, you don’t see any change. You have hit a plateau and it is time to find out whats wrong. Go through the steps below to find the solution and break through the plateau.
Rest to break through the plateau
When was the last time you took a week off? Or a deload week? Your muscles does not grow when you train, they grow when you rest. If it has been more than 8 weeks since you took some time off it might be the time to do that. It is recommended that a rest or deload week is taken every 8 to 12 weeks, depending on how hard you train. We recommend two different options.
Deload week: Do a week were you still train but lower all weights by 25-50% and lower the amount of sets you do. Only train each muscle group one time this week. This is great for recovery as you will still get a pump and flush the muscles with nutrients. The good thing with this option is that with the lower weights you can do a technique check on your training while still giving the body rest.
Rest week: Take a full week off from lifting weights and heavy cardio. You grow when you rest, remember? This is a good option if you feel a bit beat up from training. During this week the most active you should be is taking short walks and stretching. After this it is not uncommon to come back and hit higher weights than ever before.
Remember that with both options you lower or go off training completely but that does not include your diet. It should still be good to recover properly during the week.
Related: Hourglass Body – Ultimate Guide
Diet to break through the plateau
Have you kept to your diet? Start by checking your protein intake and see if you eat enough. If not this might be the reason. Your need your protein to build muscle. The other very important thing is the amount of calories you eat. As you have gained some muscle from your training it’s easy to forget that your body now needs more fuel. Try upping the calories slightly or add an small snack or a extra meal during the part of the day. Do it where it’s the longest between your meals now.
You have used the same training program for months, maybe years and seen good progress but is has suddenly stopped working. The reason for this is that the body adapts to training. It’s individual how long it takes but sooner or later most programs stop working and some change is needed. When the body is put under a new exercise or rep range it gets a bit confused and realizes that it needs to get stronger for performing the new task and will start building more muscle.
There are many ways to change your training but start looking over the amount of reps you do. If you have done high reps for a long time it might be time to change to low reps. With focus on strength for 6 to 12 weeks and then go back to your favorite routine. Or the other way around if you have done low reps for a long time.
You can try to change the order you do your exercises in for example doing hip thrusts before squats for a while, try to do the lifts you have done with barbells with dumbbells instead and the other way around or try completely new exercises. With all this said, do not change your routine all the time. Stay with a routine for at least six weeks or until you feel it does not work anymore because you need to have time to progress att what you are doing before changing it up.
Managing stress is important for building your booty but even more important for your every day well being. When you are stressed your bad cortisol rises, this is bad for muscle growth, sleep and puts your other hormones out of whack. So here are a few steps manage stress.
If you are one of the people that go to the gym for one and a half hour it might add to that stress as when you train you put your central nervous system under pressure. But if you keep your workouts shorter but with high intensity it is instead a great tool to combat stress. Focus on the big lifts and keep the workouts to 40 minutes. With warmup and stretching no more than 60 min.
Meditation to break through the plateau
Trying meditation or mindfulness is a great tool for most things in life. The big part is learning to control your breathing to calm yourself down during stressful times. There is a reason most CEOs of big companies and professional athletes uses some form of meditation to keep stable under pressure. How to learn mindfulness is such a big topic that it does not fit in this article so go on google or youtube to find a tutorial with audio tapes, find one you like and try it.
Not sleeping enough will make it harder to control your stress. Being tired all the time adds to the stress. If you can shoot for at least eight hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble falling asleep, try not using your phone, computer or tv 30 minutes before going to sleep as the blue light from the screens make it harder to fall asleep.
You can try a supplements for managing stress and lowering cortisol. The most used supplement for this is ashwagandha also known as indian ginseng. It is a herb that has been used in asian Ayurvedic medicine for over 4000 years for combating stress, physical and mental weakness and lowered sexual desire. The ashwagandha you want to use is the extract ksm 66.
Now be honest with yourself and fix what’s broken in your booty building routine and take you training to the next level!
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