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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Awaken The Athlete Push Plateaus

Push Past Plateau
If you have been following this blog series so far and you started playing with your latest program you have been trying it for the past few weeks, adjusting it as you figure out what's fitting and what needs tweaking to fit better.
What happens once you have been doing this for a month or 2, you got some shifts in your body and feel the results but then it starts to slow down or stall?  You are getting bored with the program and the body seems to have mastered it, feeling too simple?
Any of these factors tell you that its time to refresh things.  You want to continue to encourage results so its time to make a change or a few, that will shock the body a little bit.  I would not suggest completing changing it to extreme.  Not at this point anyway.

The direction you want to go in is to make one of these changes progressively every time you hit a plateau, at least for the first few months.  I would only pick one each time and maybe try a different change each time rather than just upping the weight for example, each time a plateau hits yet keeping all else the same.  Weight shifts can happen along the way subtly as part of the norm but can also be used to push past plateau in creative ways as well.

Ways to Beat the Plateau Syndrome

I make changes monthly, to get ahead of the plateau and I know I usually hit it 3-4 weeks in, small ones.
So I plan to change things each month.  Some of the ways to keep it fresh are to:

  • Add a few exercises you don't normally do and switch them out for some of the ones you are doing now.
  • Change the style, if you are doing straight sets, try super sets, pyramids, ascending, descending, drop sets, giant sets, super slow……the list is extensive.
  • If you usually do higher reps, go for lower reps with more weight or visa versa.  Even just a week or 2.
  • If you don't have exercise combos in your plan maybe throw in a few of those.  That’s where moves are pulled into one, like a deadlift, clean to overhead press.
  • Do an active rest week every 4th week where you do anything you don't normally do and do not do the usual program.  If you never swim, run, do that instead or try boxing that week, anything that’s a shift.
  • If you have been diligent and training on point, consistently, 4-5 days per week then take 5 days completely off of exercise.  You can hike or walk but nothing intense or formal.  Some people need this to push past a plateau.

Do not confuse this with lacking in results.  Plateau is a phase, if you feel you lack in results in general then you need to look at other factors starting with sleep and diet.

I did not forget about the meal prep post, its next.  Running a small studio with group classes is definitely keeping me busy wearing my owner/manager hat ;)))

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