After working with gen pop, college athletes and online clients, I believe there are four main types of plateaus that take place within long term strength and hypertrophy training:
We’re diving into all four of these plateaus and what you can possibly implement as a coach or trainee to work through them.
I bring this up first because I think this can initiate other types of plateaus we experience in training AND can be a result of, or byproduct of other plateaus.
This is when you’re just out of it, not feeling it, in a “funk” – maybe motivation to train is lower, efficacy is lower, perhaps you even have a negative connotation with training when it’s normally something you enjoy.
Sometimes there are cycles we see once we’re training for the long haul. It could be summer for you, or maybe the fall. Finals season – some time of the year that tends to bring upon inconsistency or a lull in your training. And it throws you for a loop every time. You plateau – physically, mentally, etc.
The earlier you can get in front of this the better off you’ll be.
Actual Physical performance
Strength or power output comes to mind for me. This could be with one exercise or across the board. I am thinking more across the board. Overall plateau in your performance.
First off – this IS a sign of overtraining (not taking enough deload weeks and going from supercompensation and over-reaching to actual over-training) and/or under-recovering.
Point of these approaches is to come back REFRESHED & RE-ENERGIZED (your mind and your body).
If it’s not a reload we need, you can look back at programming. If you’ve been doing the SAME THING (variations, sets and reps, weight etc) it might be a good time to switch things up a bit more than you normally would.
Along the same lines as physical performance.
Nutrition is going to be a factor to evaluate here as well, though that’s not my area of expertise.
Range of motion is HIGHLY underrated when it comes to building muscle and the potential for muscle fiber recruitment.
Just some ideas outside of “I’m plateauing, I must need to do more” – NO Silly Susan, you probably need to DO LESS, God bless, or do different.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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