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So you’ve been following a strict workout routine for a few months now. While you were seeing great success in the first few months, you have begun to notice that you aren’t seeing the same success that you initially did. Whether you’ve seen a halt in muscle gains, strength increases or overall performance levels, you’ve hit a plateau in your training process.
While it can be frustrating, this is a totally natural occurrence that most people will experience at the gym. Even I have seen my progress stall! There could be a few different causes for this, but don’t panic. Take comfort in knowing that this plateau is temporary, and with a few changes, you can take your workout routine to the next level. Find out what’s causing your workout plateau and how to break it with my help below.
Take a Look at Your Diet
If you want to grow, you need to fuel your body the right way! It’s crucial that your body is receiving the right calories, carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals it needs every single day to support your bodybuilding efforts. Your nutrition should focus on your personal aesthetic goals. Don’t try a diet just because your friend is seeing success. If you don’t have the same goals as your friend, his or her diet isn’t going to help you.
To ensure you are getting the right vitamins and nutrients you need, you’re going to need to do extensive research. If you can, you may want to speak with a nutritionist. Your body won’t be able to perform to its maximum capabilities if you don’t give it the proper fuel it needs to succeed!
Change Up Your Exercises
While it’s easy to stick to the same regimen, nothing kills your muscle-building momentum more than a stagnant training routine. Variation is not only key to help pack on muscle mass, it’s also crucial in breaking your workout plateau. You can change up the order of your exercises, the type of exercises you do, the number of sets/reps, the days you train, etc. Just make sure to keep your muscles guessing every 4 weeks. That’ll help you achieve the results you want!
Focus on Eccentric Training
Most people only focus on the concentric phase of a movement. A concentric, or positive, phase is the contraction that shortens your muscle as it acts against a resistive force. In a bicep curl, the biceps use a concentric contraction during the lifting phase of the exercise. During an eccentric, or negative, contraction, your muscles lengthen while producing force. So during a bicep curl, your biceps use an eccentric contraction when you lower the weight back down.
To maximize your results, you’re going to want to focus on both the concentric and eccentric phases. While most traditional exercises include both of these contractions, you may not be focusing on eccentric contractions as much as you should.
Why should you focus on negative contractions? Well, for starters, your muscles can generate more force during the eccentric phase of an exercise. By slowing down this phase, you can help your muscles build greater strength. In addition, you can use negative training to your advantage. Eccentric contractions are a great way to help you progress into exercises that are currently too difficult for you. If you want to get good at pull-ups, but you don’t have the strength to pull yourself all the way up, work up to that movement by focusing on the lowering phase. You’ll be working the same muscles that you would use for the concentric phase!
Hire a Trainer
Working with a trainer, like Marc Megna, is one of the best ways to elevate your workout routine to the next level. Not only can a trainer help you break through this plateau, he or she also can make sure you’re following the proper form so you don’t injure yourself. Plus, trainers are great at giving you that extra motivation to finish that last rep!
Take Your Fitness Routine to the Next Level with the Megna Method
The best workout routine is one that takes into account your current abilities, as well as your fitness goals. With the Megna Method, we create a personalized success plan to ensure your routine is both challenging and within your reach. For more information, don’t hesitate to check out my podcasts or contact me today!