What are some ways I can surpass my plateau in resistance training?

To avoid hitting a plateau, you should vary your workout program often. At least every month, you should either change the exercises you perform, or another variable of that exercise. Here are a few examples:
  • Change the tempo of your movement: try moving a little faster (still utilizing proper form) on some days, and slow steady movements on others. You may notice you actually need to decrease your weight for the slower motion, but you’ll feel it the next day!
  • Add a balance challenge: if you perform the exercise standing, try standing on one leg, or on another balance tool. For seated or lying exercises, try using a stability ball instead of a stable bench.
  • Further challenge stability: switch from a bar to dumbbells or from dumbbells to a cable machine. Alternate arms, or perform a set on only one arm (without a weight in the other hand) and then the other.
  • Try supersets: perform two different exercises for the same muscle group with minimal rest in between.
  • Try drop-sets: perform as many repetitions as you can with proper form with the heaviest weight you can lift. Then, immediately drop to the next lightest weight and continue. Repeat as you slowly go down in weight and completely tire out your muscles. Maintain proper form and posture throughout.
  • Use the pyramid system: perform numerous sets of an exercise with a small rest in between. For each set, slowly increase the weight until you hit the peak and decrease the weight for the following sets. A pyramid with five sets would be: mild, moderate, heavy, moderate, mild.
  • Split your routine: instead of doing total body workouts, divide your workouts throughout the week. Focus on upper body exercises one day, and lower body the next.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.