How I Overcame My Plateau in Weightlifting:
I’m going to be honest, building muscle as a beginner is easy. But you’ll eventually get to a point where you’ll become frustrated, demotivated, or confused all because you hit a plateau at the gym and feel stuck. You’re showing up to the gym and putting in the work but you feel like a hamster on a wheel. When this problem never gets resolved, it’ll lead to either extreme workout or just quitting altogether. In my early years of weightlifting before becoming a professional trainer, I’ve dealt with my fair share of frustrations from not achieving the specific results I wanted at the time; like adding on 10 lbs of muscle or building a certain strength quality that’ll carry over to my amateur boxing career.
I used to think more is better- more reps, more volume, more weight. But it was evident I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was stuck in this old school way of training, doing the same approach over and over again, leaving me feeling exhausted. So, I sought out more education and realized I wasn’t giving my body enough variation by not providing the right stimulation for my nervous system to access a new pool of strength and trigger muscle growth. It was only then where I learned how to break my weightlifting plateau and began to restructure my training plan. My philosophical approach and specific exercise selection is where my results took off and I experienced a huge difference in my athletic ability and gained that 10lb of lean muscle mass.
Prime Your Nervous System for Weightlifting:
When we start lifting weights, our muscles initially don’t change, but our nervous system does! For those who don’t know, the nervous system is the line of communication between the brain and the muscles and it orchestrates how the muscles fire, react, recruit other muscles, produce energy, ect. Now, igniting your nervous system is not as simple as it may sound. It has its own distinct program for each type of rep range you’re aiming for in your lifts. For example, there’s a difference between lifting high reps vs low reps. When you’re implementing high reps, it yields more muscle growth and endurance. It’s not very demanding on the nervous system, but more focused on muscular adaptation. On the other hand, when you’re training for low reps, it focuses more on the strength and power. Therefore it places a higher demand on the nervous system, requiring much longer rest periods between exercises so that you can tap into more energy for those heavy lifts. Understanding this concept is essential to break your weightlifting plateaus.
What are Strength Training Phases?:
When it comes to applying pressure on the nervous system, you need to do so in phases of rep ranges that are cycled through a program, no matter if you’re training for strength or muscle growth.
Let’s say you’re an intermediate lifter looking to improve your overall strength and you are shooting for 6 months to get that increase in strength.
Your program will begin with a foundational 3- week phase with a rep range of 6-8.
Possibly implementing and focusing on unilateral exercises to bring muscular balance to your framework to better prepare for the pressure and intensity from heavy lifting.
The next phase will alternate from tapping into your strength to refining your fast twitch muscle fibers. The reps will be in the 4-6 range.
You’ll be targeting larger muscle groups and incorporating major exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, pull-ups, squats, etc.
After that, we’ll ease up on the nervous system with another phase with higher reps, say, 8-10. From there, we will repeat this cycle going back and forth providing different stimulations on the nervous system so that you’ll progressively get stronger, maximize your time at the gym, and get the results you’re looking for. At this phase, you will have a sustainable system thats long-term.
If you feel you need to break-through your lifting plateau in order to become stronger, I encourage you to check out my “Strong and Solid” workout plan. It’s a 6 month program planned out so that all you just need to do is show up, stick with the workout schedule, properly recover, and experience your strength LEVEL UP to new heights !
Purchase your STRONG & SOLID program HERE!