What is a fitness plateau and how do you beat it?
Every athlete encounters it at some point: a fitness plateau. People who are at the beginning of their fitness journey make a lot of gains in a short time. If you keep training, there comes a point when growth starts to stagnate and it becomes more and more difficult to see the same progression as before. This means that you have encountered a plateau, in this blog you can read why a plateau arises and how you can break it.
Change your routine
Many athletes train on the basis of a training schedule. When you use the same schedule for a long time, your muscles get used to the tension they experience. As a result, there is not enough impulse for your muscles to encourage growth and that is of course not what you want. It is therefore wise to periodically adjust your training schedule. Try to vary the use of devices and equipment in the gym, grab the pec fly instead of the chest press or try exercises with dumbbells instead of cables. The variation provides new impulses for your muscles and will therefore be stimulated again for growth.
There are also other ways to change up your workout. For example, think of supersets, where you perform two different exercises immediately after each other to create extra tension for the body. Drop sets are also a well-known way to make your gym session more challenging. Here you drop the weight after your first set and continue without a break to the next set but with a lighter weight to be able to do extra repetitions. You can do this a number of times until your muscles can no longer. Make sure that the extra repetitions are not at the expense of your technique, as this increases the risk of injury. A final tip is to try negative sets, where you focus on the controlled return of the weight to the starting position. The muscle is up to 1.75 times as strong in the eccentric phase and can therefore bear more weight..
The above examples all increase the tension placed on a muscle. This tension is essential for breaking plateaus and can be increased in various ways. Progressive overload has been scientifically proven as a method to achieve muscle growth (hypertrophy). The intention is that you gradually increase the intensity of workouts to keep stimulating the muscles. You can do this by increasing the weight of the exercises, for example every two weeks. You can also change the number of sets and reps to increase the total workload for your muscles. However, it is very important to do this in a controlled manner, if necessary with the help of a personal trainer or professional. If the intensity is adjusted too quickly or with too large amounts, you increase the risk of overtraining, injuries or it can be at the expense of your technique. So pay close attention to this.
Nutrition and supplements
Outside of training, the body must of course be well taken care of. A plateau can be broken more easily if your body has the necessary nutrients to recover and grow. It starts with a healthy diet, enough macros and micros to support your body. Apart from the fact that your regular diet is the most important, it can be supplemented with nutritional supplements. For example, increase your protein intake through whey protein to give your body enough building materials to realize muscle growth. Another way is pre-workout, which can be as easy as a cup of coffee before a workout, but a compound pre-workout can also come in handy. With this you give your body an extra boost for the training so that you can last longer during the training and shoot through your plateau. Another supplement is Turkesterone. This relatively unknown supplement is a natural plant extract and is used by some as an alternative to steroids or SARMs. Because it improves your performance and has no negative side effects, Turkesterone can offer you that extra support to break through your plateau.Read more about Turkesterone here.
Rest, relax and recover
This is one of the most important factors. Your muscles need time and rest to recover. In combination with good nutrition, your muscles will recover more than they were broken down during training. Besides resting between workouts, it's also important to keep your mind calm. Stress is one of the biggest gain killers out there. Take care of yourself, leave time for the things that make you happy and try meditations or other exercises to create that peace. Supplements can also come in handy here. Ashwagandha seems to work well against stress and gives mental peace, because it stimulates the functioning of the brain. There are countless ways to optimize rest and recovery so that you can break through your fitness plateau. Please see our website or the internet for more information.