Strength plateaus will inevitably emerge on your road to a stronger, leaner, better body. On paper you know how to deal with them, but when facing the bar your knowledge will not help you move the weight.
It’s just you and the weights now. And you had better come prepared.
Programmed For Success
You’ve done everything by the book. You ate your meals, slept good, drank your pre-workout… and yet, you failed to deliver. You failed to get that extra rep despite having prepared for this moment for days. You drop the weights in utter frustration.
I’ve been there many times. I know how it feels.
If you find yourself stuck in this position, take a step back, accept that your current approach isn’t working, and find a better way. Pick yourself up and move on. Use The 3 Secrets of Strength to plow through your plateaus and become a better athlete.
1. Keep Your Workouts Short
“…the number of sets you need to achieve maximum stimulation is directly related to your intensity level.” – Vince Gironda
Limit your workload to 3-6 exercises per session. There’s no need to hit your chest (or any other bodypart) from “every angle” with a boatload of volume. All you have to do is go in there, provide a stimulus for adaptation, re-rack the weights, and go home.
The overreaching threshold is easily exceeded (especially as you start using heavy weights or advanced bodyweight movements). Tread carefully. Don’t sacrifice training quality for quantity. Are you progressing every week? Are you consistently getting stronger? Are you moving forward?
If your answer is no, it’s time to re-evaluate.
2. Train Less Often
I know this goes against what you’ve been told, and I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but you need to prioritize workout recovery. Some of you simply don’t have the recuperative capacity to train intensely more than 3-4 days a week.
You might initially see some results with a higher frequency program, but progress will come to a halt sooner than later. And once the weights plateau, your physical development is certain to follow suit.
The solution is as simple as they come. Train less. Find the ideal combination of training volume and intensity. How often and how much can you train, and still see continuous improvements in strength and performance?
3. Limit Training to Failure
You see it all the time at your local Planet Fitness. Guys lifting beyond their current level of strength, using bad form and hitting failure on every set. What do these fellas have in common? An underdeveloped physique and inconsistent gym performances.
Training to momentary muscle failure is to be reserved for a select few sets. It’s a considerable shock to your central nervous system and will impair workout recovery if performed too frequently. Yes you must train hard, but you want to train smart too.
Gauge your progress by your performances, not by the time spent at the gym. How often can you train? How much volume can you handle? It’s time you figure that out.
Make sure to watch this for more details on programming for strength development.
Thank you for reading