How to Break Through the Plateau in Strength Training
When it comes to strength training routines most people have one focus in mind: progressing their gains further which means adding more weight. You have wiggle room as far as the amount of reps and sets are concerned, but in trying to add as much mass as possible, the more weigh the better.
Before you start, it is definitely worth noting that you shouldn’t expect to increase the amount you are lifting each week at a consistent level. You are going to see a more explosive growth when you first start, and those gains are going to steadily decline to where they will taper off, this being your actual rate of growth.
Don’t get discouraged though, through time and repetition you will get there and will be throwing up plates like its nothing. You just need a few insider tips to help you get there, and here’s how.
Start with Your Pre-Workout Routine
Many people avoid pre workouts altogether as they’re just another thing to worry about and there is the impression that only bodybuilder or professional athletes are the only ones who get a decent benefit from doing so.
This train of thought is just flat out incorrect, and in fact taking certain supplements before you workout can help you push that extra weight that you wouldn’t be able to do without.
One of the best things you can have pre-workout is stimulant, preferably in the form of caffeine. Coffee especially has long been used by exercise fanatics to get that extra edge in any athletic event whether it be endurance, strength or otherwise.
The science backs up these claims as well as studies show that people who supplemented their diet with caffeine prior to exercise were able to lift more weight than they could without the supplement. Caffeine not only helps to improve anaerobic power, but also gives the mind more focus which can further help you to make those gains.
If you’re going to drink caffeine before you workout, it is best that you do it about 30minutes beforehand to give your body a little bit of time to digested and absorb the caffeine. Another thing worth noting is that your tolerance to caffeine will increase as time goes on, so to get the same benefits you will have to increase your caffeine.
Make Sure to Properly Warm up Before You Go Big
A very common mistake many people make while training is that they don’t properly warm up before they try to lift the big weights. Getting to the gym and immediately going to the heavy weights without warming up or stretching is a recipe for failure.
You have to warm your muscles up a little bit before you start lifting really heavy. A good rule of thumb is to start warming up with about 50% of your max, and work for only a set. When warming up, it is very important that you are giving your muscles a full stretch.
It can be really tempting to give little effort here, but make sure to put it in. Make sure you are using your full range of motion as well to hit every muscle fiber in the muscle.
You don’t want to be warming up for more than one set either, as the more you lift the more it will fatigue your muscle, and reduce your ability to lift that heavy weight. The object is just to get the blood pumping here to give yourself a jumping off point.
Get Familiar with Your Body and Eat Properly Beforehand
This is going to take some trial and error on your part, what you need or don’t need to eat before working out varies completely depending on the individual. It might even vary for yourself day to day so it is a good idea to eat regularly and consistently to get your body in a good habit.
Some people for example can’t go to the gym on a full stomach as it makes them feel full, bloated and they just can’t move and perform as well. Conversely some people will absolutely need to eat before a workout otherwise their energy levels will drop part of the way through leaving them with a less productive workout than they had hoped for.
If you are feeling hungry before your workout, grab a high protein food with plenty of fiber. The protein will give you the fuel you need to keep going and that fiber will keep you feeling full throughout your entire workout.