What is a muscle plateau?
Picture this…. You have been hitting the gym pretty intensely for a good period of time. At first those muscles were growing, veins were popping and you were left feeling sore. After doing your same regimen multiple times, you start to not see a difference in your progress. You feel bland about the workout you just did and not very satisfied. Congratulations, you just hit a plateau. You body has gotten use to the pressure and stress you have put it under and no longer reacts as well to it as you hope. Your muscles stop tearing as much and this slows down muscle growth.
So, what do you do when you are experiencing this?
Switch up your workout. Find new exercises, new ways to work your muscles and new days to do them on. You might consider switching to a push/pull program or doing a more light weight program for a while or just changing the exercises. For me, I switch about every 2 months what workouts I choose to do. Also I switch up what muscle groups I work out together. So I might switch from doing arms (bi/tri’s) together to doing back/bi’s and then chest/tri’s. Listen to your body, try new workouts and educate yourself on the different ways a body works.
Can I hit a cardio plateau?
Of course! Say I walk 10 miles every day and at first, the weight is dropping of. After about a week, I’m barely losing weight and inches off my body. This is because my body just isn’t being challenged like it should. To keep from hitting this plateau, switch up your cardio daily. Do a HIIT routine a few times a week, then take the cardio outside and then on some machines. Cardio is one of the most flexible exercises to do. Running up the stairs can even count as it and will shock your muscles from keeping that plateau to hit. Playing ball outside or jumping rope are good sources of cardio that target all different muscles. Don’t let running on a treadmill for hours be your only source, because then you won’t see any progress. Get creative!
Should I switch up my supplements?
YES! You can plateau with supplements too! The more you workout and the more intense the workouts get call for more protein and higher doses of supplements for proficient recovery. If you’re training isn’t that intense, then you can cut back on the supps. But if you’re doing the same routine everyday, it not only gets boring, but it becomes a waste.
Like always, I cannot stress how important it is to learn and listen to your body. The greatest change you will see is when you learn how your own body works and not others. Be observant and take into account every little change you see. That is how you will reach your goal.