There comes a point in many people’s fitness journies when they hit a plateau – no matter what they do they can’t break through to their next level. Even though this is true for all aspects of fitness, one area that it is especially common is strength training. Plateaus can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common reason is because of monotony. To break past a plateau, often times the thing you have to do is simply do something different. Your body adapts to the routine that you put it through, so after a certain point it’s not so much an exercise as much as it’s muscle memory. Change it up, do something different! Try changing the order of your exercises, the number of repititions, number of sets….the list of options goes on and on. By doing the same routine, your body finds a way to adapt to that specific routine, and our bodies are designed to take the path of least resistance. Changing your routine forces your body to change the way it performs, and that is where growth happens. Find a way to change your routine because it should change as your body changes. Find that extra something, and conquer your goals. Enjoy the following example, and make fitness your own.
About a year ago, I was really struggling to increase the weight I could bench press. After a few years of increase in strength, I realized that I had plateaued, and I had been at that plateau for probably 5 months before I realized. I would go through the same exercises chest day after chest day, executing every movement as properly as possible, and there were points when I would even have workouts dedicated to chest three days a week. The goal I set for myself that, once thought to be reasonable, seemed out of my grasp. One day, a friend of mine asked me to workout with him, and we ended up doing a chest workout. We did not do anything special, but what we did was something that was different for me. After a few weeks of doing the new routine (with less frequency, which was a huge plus), my muscles were reacting to the change in regimen that was imposed on them, and that’s when they began to grow and strengthen and allow me to reach my goal.