Understanding plateaus is the key to discovering ways to break them! When I started at the gym I was pretty inactive in my personal life. At that point I had stopped sports completely and was only doing yoga and some running. I started at the gym and saw some small results pretty quickly- unfortunately what comes easily is lost easier. I hit a plateau pretty quickly once I started at the gym and I quit because I felt so discouraged.
Over time I decided to give it another shot, after loosing some of my strength and gains I was determined to get back into the gym! This time I saw an increase in my endurance.. I could run longer, and perform well! I felt great, but I wasn't seeing much booty gains- and that was what I was looking for!
Once again, I stayed here for a while- I was making small booty gains, plateauing and barely breaking through the plateau for more than a YEAR!
How did I break this cycle?
This discouraging cycle of small victory & plateauing lasted for over a year! I broke this cycle by creating and periodizing (explained below) my workout program! First, I started working on my strength so I would be able to start lifting heavy. When I did so I saw DRASTIC changes in my body and in my strength!
I'm not going to lie and say that adding heavy weight training was the only thing that got me from weak and skinny to strong and fit. However it was the first way I discovered how to overcome plateaus and see beautiful results!
Sadly, adding heavier weight training only worked for a couple of months and then... yes you guessed it... I hit another plateau. I wasn't seeing any more gains, wasn't seeing any more strength development and was getting VERY bored with working on myself because nothing was changing even though I was putting in so much work.
The next thing I changed was my lifestyle. Back when I first started weight training I was also partying and eating horribly. I started limiting my partying and doing some research about nutrition and how it benefits my body biologically. I started meal planning and choosing the right foods and... you guessed it... I broke through my plateau. I got stronger, had more energy and started loosing inches around my waist!
I mentioned "periodizing" my program above. This is the most important thing I have discovered which has STOPPED my plateaus in general. I haven't run across a major fitness or development roadblock in about 4 months now.
Periodizing your program means to create different progressions in your program! I recently went through a progression in my program and the comparison picture Below was my booty development results after 1.5 year regularly progressing my workout plan and completing a couple of my challenges.
For beginners this may mean creating a phase of your program where you are working on strength endurance, a phase where you are working on form and mastering basic primal movements and phases where you start to build and add weight to your primal movements.
For more advanced people this may mean to create a phase of your program where you are working on heavy weight lifting for strength endurance, and then a phase where you are working on power lifting and accessory work etc.
Every progression should have some new exercises, some new accessory work and some different endurance and flexibility goals!
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