Are you hitting a weight training plateau?
Let’s get results!
[ct_leading]How do you know when to up the weight you lift at? How do you know when to try a more difficult move? Why are you not sore or tired after your workouts? [/ct_leading]
These are questions everyone asks when looking for weight training results at the gym, I know I did! The answers to these questions are not straightforward. Several different scenarios in the gym can call for a change in your workout. Let’s walk through a few of them, and find the perfect recipe for knowing when it’s time to make a change in your workout program.
[ct_leading]First things first, muscle memory.[/ct_leading] This is a natural body phenomenon. Muscle memory explains why dancers can train themselves to leap, kick and turn and make it look easy, or why quarterbacks can throw the ball with the same form every time. When you repeatedly do the same movement over and over again your muscles remember the movement. This is awesome for athletes, and even singers who control their vocal cords. But, in the gym it can be a huge obstacle for anyone looking for weight training results. Muscle memory can cause your body to plateau, meaning muscle growth and muscle definition will not develop. This causes tons of frustration for anyone looking to gain results from weight training. Because, all you can think about is how hard you are working, yet you see no results. Of course, you must be patient with your body. But, if you feel it has been a few months without any weight training results, then perhaps it is time to change it up!
[ct_leading]When you first start working out, the morning after a good workout can be a killer.[/ct_leading] Every muscle aches, you can barely get out of bed and you can’t even fathom walking. This extreme soreness will fade after some time of consistent exercise. Your body will become more adapted to its new normal (muscle memory) and this is fine! It is okay for you to experience less soreness after some time of regular exercise. BUT, if after every workout you feel little to no soreness, I can promise you are not pushing yourself enough. It may be time for you to up the weight, reps, or difficulty of your workouts. You can even increase the amount of sets you do. For example, if you repeat a move at 3 sets of 10x, bump it up to 4 or 5 sets of 10x, especially if you are using weight training to tone! You can also try variations of certain moves. Let’s take a bicep curl for example, you can do a regular bicep curl, a hammer bicep curl or bicep curls that stop at 90 degrees. These variations all work the bicep muscle but challenge it to work in new and harder ways.
[ct_leading]Here is one of my favorite rules![/ct_leading] I can’t take all the credit for this one though, the idea came from my boyfriend. The rule goes as follows, if you can complete 10 clean reps of a move, either up the amount of reps you are doing or the weight. By clean reps I mean that you maintain proper form through all 10 reps with no strain or pain! If you decide to up your amount of reps, I recommend going up by 2’s or 5’s. If you decide to up the weight you are lifting at, I suggest decreasing the amount of reps you do to 6-8x; and let the cycle start all over again. Once you can do 10 clean reps at the new weight, increase the weight or reps again! This is a great system to push yourself at a safe and healthy pace.
For the best weight training results, keep your muscles guessing
[ct_leading]The more you challenge your body safely and in new ways, the more change and results it can produce. [/ct_leading]Try new moves at new weights. Always remember, light weight and lots of reps initiates toning. While heavier weight and fewer reps initiate muscle growth. Switching up between light and heavy weight, fast and slow movement and new movements can work wonders. Plus, repeating the same workouts can be boring. For fresh workout ideas you can always follow me on instagram. Fresh and new is fun!
In the end, knowing your body is key
[ct_leading]Your body will talk to you, I promise.[/ct_leading] So, listen too it! Yes, working out will cause you to feel uncomfortable or sore, but you should never experience severe pain. If something hurts, STOP! Do not do it! If you are straining with a weight, step back, look in the mirror and figure out if you need to better your form. If that doesn’t help, decrease the weight. Always, warm up, stretch and cool down. Also, always change up your cardio. It falls under muscle memory too. If you repeat the same cardio over and over again soon your body will get used to it, work less, and burn fewer calories. And again, the golden rule, light weight + more reps= toning, and heavy weight + less reps = muscle growth. You want to get a good mixture of both in order to see the weight training results you deserve! If you feel like you have hit a plateau, you’re not getting the weight training results you want, or you just have some questions, feel free to contact me!