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Posted by Barry on Mar 12, 2013

Bust That Plateau!

plateau buster2big

I talked about it a long time ago (see Plateau?  Here’s what to do) and we all know that sooner or later we all hit some kind of plateau.  While P90X and other Beachbody programs are all designed to avoid plateaus, if you do them long enough even you will hit some kind of weight or strength plateau.  So I am revisiting plateaus and giving you ways to Bust That Plateau!

Sleep More

Muscle grows when you sleep. If you shortchange your sleep time, you shortchange growth. Your cortisol levels get out of whack, too, which promotes fat storage, not muscle growth. Set a bedtime that permits eight hours of sleep and stick to it. That means for weeks, not just days.

If you have trouble getting to sleep check out this article (You Need Your Sleep) and make sure you are getting eight hours of sleep not just in bed for eight hours.

Change Your Rest Time

If you have been going heavy on the weights and going slower and hitting pause then lighten the load for a while and do the sets faster.  If you are staying up with Tony or Shaun, or one of the other Beachbody trainers then get heavier weights and take more time.  Try this for several weeks and then see your gains come back!

Cycle Your Calories

Just like the intensity of the exercises or the amount of weight you are lifting, your calorie intake also needs to be changed from time to time to see continued growth.  So increase your caloric intake by 250-500 calories for four weeks and then go back to the original intake. This is an excellent way to break your body through a weight plateau.

Add Isometric Holds

Your muscles are weakest at the extreme ends of a movement, when a muscle is fully shortened or lengthened.  So at the end of your set hold the weight (or your body) at the end of the repetition for as long as you can until failure.  You will be amazed how having to hold that weight still while the muscle is under stress will help strengthen it.  I do this at the end of my workouts on whatever body parts we were working that day. It makes sure that I am getting the most out of my workout and that my muscles will be recovering the next day.

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