We’ve all been there. You work out day and night and enjoy seeing your physical appearance blossom and grow like a work of wonder, new muscles and perfectly toned body in tow.
Until one day, it all stops. No growth, no change and certainly no room for more muscles that might give Arnold a run for his money.
But all is not lost even though your body has effectively gone all ‘pause’ on you. Mostly it would be because you might have been following the same old training regimen for a couple of months.
Your body has finally wised up and now it won’t budge or change unless that training workout undergoes a seismic shift as well.
Believe it or not, the body does tend to pick up on these cues and stops responding as a result. It’s as lazy as they come — do the same stuff and it just adapts to it and goes all snooze-ville.
The key is to shake things up and never let your body know what’s coming next.
Variation is the name of the game here, folks, and this is how you can overcome this roadblock of fitness. You need to show your muscles who is boss by changing your workouts every now and then.
Here are 5 tips to help you spark muscle growth and get consistent results with your body:
#1: How About Eating and Resting
As silly as it sounds, sometimes, one muscle group can go on a hiatus. Some other muscles might respond to the training regimen but if you think you are not having any effect on a particular muscle group, the best thing to do is to ignore it.
By ignoring, we mean not train it. And yes, that does yield results if the following conditions are met.
Taking a week off training for the stalled muscle, along with 8 hours of sleep everyday can help you get that muscle back into action.
It is also recommended to at least eat a little more than your usual calorie count. 200 more calories than the usual will do the trick daily.
In a calorie surplus mode, your muscle gain will be more pronounced as they will have the means and the capacity to build more tissue.
It’s a good idea to constantly evaluate how many calories you consume in your diet.
The more muscle mass you build, the greater your metabolism rate will be. That means you will have to eat more to bump up that calorie count or you will hit the same plateau and your muscles may go to sleep again.
#2: Sometimes It Pays To Take Some Time Off From the Gym
A full break from the gym? Most people simply bristle at the mere thought of it. But it can do wonders if you take just a week off from it.
Splits, reps, sets, and so on, these same exercises might be doing you no favours unless you take a break from the hectic workout.
A break is also recommended if you have any injuries. It gives you a time to recuperate and as a result, both your joints and muscles get rebooted for a fresh new workout.
#3: Its Time to Get into a New Set and Rep Range
If you get the feeling you might hit a plateau anytime soon, it’s probably a good idea to shake up your current set and rep range.
You could up the ante on the number of sets you do or you can split your current regimen.
It’s a misnomer that doing lighter sets of more reps destroys your accumulated gains. If anything, the lighter form actually makes you focus more on the mind-muscle connection as well as form and speed.
And as you go on to lifting heavier weights with few reps, you can’t help but notice your lift technique has become more powerful and stronger than before.
Or you can also increase your weights since muscles respond to stress above all else. The muscles will grow bigger because they will need to accommodate the heavier weights that are now part of your routine and training regimen.
#4: Advanced Training
Straight sets do work but they need to be augmented with advanced training techniques if your body needs to escape the plateau.
Advanced training means making partial reps, negative reps, giant sets, pre-exhaustion training, and supersets a part of your training.
The added stress and variations will give your muscles no choice but to grow stronger with you.
One more thing that contributes to the advanced training is dropsets. This can be done when you have completely achieved failure on any given exercise.
When that happens, you should try dropping the weights by 20 to 25% and then start the exercise with the reduced weights. Keep doing it until your target muscle group goes exhausted. Reduce the weights more and repeat the exercise.
When you do dropsets, its essential to keep an eye on your recovery. Dropsets are difficult and taxing on your body, which is why you should give an exhausted muscle group some days of rest in between.
Increasing either the volume or working with too many muscle groups is not recommended. This may just make you burn out faster without contributing anything to your workout.
#5: Mix and Match Equipment Types
Using a variety of different equipment can end up influencing your body growth. It can also help shake things up when it seems like you may be hitting a plateau soon.
You can try switching from dumbbells to cables, barbells, and kettle bells to get results.
Confusing your muscles ad nauseam is highly recommended. Remixing your workouts is the key to stimulating dormant muscles into action.
These tips ensure your body keeps growing like a well-oiled machine and doesn’t run the risk of stagnating at all.
So, the next time you feel nothing is doing wonders for you come exercise time, remember that change is the name of the game.