So, you have been pumping for over a year and have been making great improvements in the beginning but you started noticing a few things lately. You started losing strength, you seem to finish a workout session without feeling the same pump as before and your muscle improvements has come to a screeching halt. This is what is known as plateau. Like the geological formation it is named after, when you are in a plateau, you're just stuck. You're not really making any progress at all even though you're doing the same program that brought you so much development for the last year. So how can you bust out of this limbo that you are currently in? Here's what you need to do my friend:
Start Changing It Up.If you have been doing the same number of sets of the same exercise in the same format every time for months, your body will simply get used to it and adapt. Once the body has adapted to the requirements of your workout, it will no longer grow. That is why variation is very important when it comes to muscular development. You have to keep your body guessing so start changing your routine. Do fewer sets but heavier weight, or the opposite. Starts changing the routine and how your workouts are outlined for each body part. Anything that will keep your muscles shocked.
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Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep. Your muscle grows while in the rest phase and not while you're in the gym. Make sure that you get quality sleep of around 6 to 7 hours a day. Sleeping for 2 hours than waking up than sleeping for another 3 then waking up again then sleeping for another 2 will not cut it. We're not in a math debate here. When I say quality, I mean 6 to 7 hours straight. That will give your muscles enough time to recover and rest. If you keep breaking down your muscle and not give it time to rest, you might even start losing muscle mass instead of improving.
Fast And Furious.I don't mean pump through your workout session without paying attention to proper form or adequate weight. What I mean by this is lessen the rest that you take between sets. Cut down the chat time you have with your gym buddy and take only 30 seconds of rest between sets. Or better yet, start doing power sets. This will make your workout sessions a lot faster but the intensity will be a lot better. Your workout session should not take more than an hour if this is done properly.
If You Are Aiming For Muscle Growth, Try To Minimal Cardio. Cardio does not build muscle, everybody knows this. Too much cardio will start catabolizing your muscle and start melting that hard-earned muscle of yours. Do some cardio but do not spend an hour on the treadmill or elliptical if you are building mass. It's just simple; you do more cardio when slimming down, not bulking up. Let me ask you a simple question, have you ever seen a marathon runner with half the bulk of weight lifters? I would say no because all that cardio training they do decreases their muscle mass. Don't neglect cardio but focus more on lifting than running.
Start Resting. There will be times that you have to rest for a few days. Personally, I take a week off from the gym after every 6 months of working out. Just to let your muscle rest then shock it again after the rest period. It always worked for me and a lot of the guys in the gym so it must be true. Take some time to re-evaluate your progress and set new goals while in this rest period then you can design a different program to follow. Remember the great progress you got when you were just starting. Your muscles seem to grow like crazy back then right. Through this rest, you can ignite the same kind of progress again.
Eat Better. As your workout, your body's requirements will inevitably change as well so pay attention to what you eat. 3 meals a day simply might not be enough. Start paying attention to your protein intake. The best ratio out there is 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. So start doing math on you food if you want to get out of this situation that you are in right now.
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