If you've been working out for a long period of time, you've more than likely encountered the enemy of bodybuilding - the plateau. A plateau is where your progress has come to a sudden halt, leaving you the same size or with the same level or strength for quite some time. As frustrating as a plateau can be, you have to accept that at some point everybody experiences it. However, whether it's your first plateau or your tenth, there are ways you can break through your plateau and return to making progress.
1. Change your programme
Changing your programme may seem like a fairly obvious solution, but it's often the solution that people tend to forget. If you've been following the same programme for months on end, then it's possible your muscles have adapted to your style of training, causing a plateau.
Make subtle changes
I'm not suggesting you go and and completely revolutionise the way you train, just make some subtle changes. For example, if you follow a standard programme using extended sets, you could switch to a programme that emphasises high volume.
Exploit your weaknesses
If you know you have a certain weakness then try your best to develop it in your new programme. If you lack strength when squatting, you should be aiming to incorporate them into your routine. After all, your undeveloped weaknesses are likely to be the cause of your plateau.
A superset is taking two exercises you'd normally perform separately and doing them back to back, with little or no rest in between. They can be for the same muscle group, like lateral raises and dumbbell shoulder press, or for opposing muscle groups, like barbell curls for biceps and kickbacks for triceps. Supersets help smash through a plateau as they focus on exhausting the muscle, with very little time for recovery between exercise.
3. Evaluate your diet
Among casual lifters, nutrition can often be neglected. This is the biggest error when attempting to overcome a plateau. For example, if you aren't consuming enough protein, then you're setting yourself up for failure. A simple way around this is by incorporating a protein supplement into your diet. However, it isn't just protein that could be holding you back. A lack of carbohydrates or fats could be at the route of your plateau. It's vital to review all aspects of your diet and make changes according to your goals.
Don't let a minor plateau set you back. Following all of the advice highlighted in this article is guaranteed to help you overcome a plateau and assist you in progressing further in your training. Good luck!