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How to break through a work out plateau?

pg600rr

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So I have been finally working out on a steady basis after years and years of doing it for a few months then a month off then a few months and two months off, etc etc. I have been on now for a little over 7 months and my progress was great up until now (btw I am not looking to get huge, pretty much just lean, cut, and overall good shape), I am 6'1" 183 lbs.. During this time I have been doing pretty much the same exercises/routine the whole time. My splits have been chest/bis, shoulders/tris, legs/back, with cardio sprinkled in after each workout. I usually do 3-5 exercises per body part, with 10-12 reps/3 sets. For the past few weeks I have not been noticing progress, it has all seemed to level off and I am not sure what to do?

I was thinking (1) start doing a high rep low weight workout for a few weeks with the same routine. Instead of 10/12 reps I'd do 20-22 reps. OR (2) switch everything completely to all new exercises OR (3) focus on only resistence training, like using bands and my own body wieght to work out OR (4) something else??

Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
 

MonkeyFresh

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I just started working out but i have a friend who has lots of experience that helps me and what we follow is a 5x5 routine, i feel its working very effectively to build muscle so maybe id give that a try
Also, some tips he gave me are to focus the bulk of your workout on compounds and focus on isolating exercises as auxiliaries to the compounds
 

Thomas

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I'd go with different exercises for a while. For example: Leg presses instead of squats. That sort of thing.
 

Milhouse

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You'll plateau regularly. That is why you must constantly change your workout. Vary the exercises, the sets/reps, etc.

So if you are doing 3x12 on squats, change to 6x6.

Or, stop doing back squats for a while and do front squats instead.
 

pg600rr

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thanks all for the advice, I actually just got back from the gym and switched everything up to all different exercises and sets/reps of 5x5 or 6x4 depending on the exercise, I can already tell it was the way to go because I am totally drained as before I wasnt really feelin the muscle fatigue from my old workout..
 

aleeboy

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Play around with super-sets. You know... doing back to back exercises using opposing movements/muscles. For example, this morning, I was supersetting chin-ups with shoulder presses and seated rows with dips.

Also, I've been playing around with rest periods. These days, I'm keeping my rests to less than 60 seconds. This has a huge aerobic effect. Get the sweat flowing and the blood pumping.

My lifts have gone up quite a bit in the last two months. For example, shoulder press from 10kg to 25kg. Bench Press from 60 to 90kg. I used to train constantly for a few years, but dropped out of the routine and put on some weight. Prior to hitting the gym again, I worked on body-weight exercises like dips, chin-ups and pull-ups for two months.

Hope this helps you break-through.

Andrew
 

Eason

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You don't need to change exercises, you just need to always try more weight or more reps. If you don't, how are you going to make progress?
 

aleeboy

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When you plateau you cannot lift more weights. I'm assuming the OP meant he cannot lift heavier. Of course dropping the reps will allow this. But how do you go from benching 60kgx10 to 80kgx10? This is what I deem as progress. Maybe this isn't what everyone has in mind, but this would be how I measure progress. Well this and increase in size.

I also recommend playing with the speed at which you lift. As I mentioned before, I had good results from body weight workouts. For dips, I would to 20 in an explosive manner and 10 in slow strict form. Same for pull-ups too. When I went to the bench, I immediately felt stronger and could power through the part of the lift that used to be a sticking point.

Oh yeah... helps to have a spotter too to make sure yuo keep good form and don't hurt yourself in case of any mishaps.

A
 

Eason

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when I say more weight, it was implied that he drop the rep. I should have said "lower RM".
 

beasty

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Originally Posted by Eason
You don't need to change exercises, you just need to always try more weight or more reps. If you don't, how are you going to make progress?

For once, you finally make sense.
 

why

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Changing exercises is just the shotgun method of training...training is all about volume and intensities. Most people do too much. Keep the weight the same (or maybe add 5% or so) and cut the reps in half for two weeks.

Then go back to your old weights, then add more weight to the bar the week after.

Oh, and body part splits suck.
 

beasty

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Originally Posted by Francis91
Why do they suck?

Dont bother asking him. He cant give coherent answers.
If he does answer, it will be one of his shitty one liners that no one except himself is impressed by.
 

beasty

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Originally Posted by why
Changing exercises is just the shotgun method of training...training is all about volume and intensities. Most people do too much. Keep the weight the same (or maybe add 5% or so) and cut the reps in half for two weeks.

Then go back to your old weights, then add more weight to the bar the week after.

Oh, and body part splits suck.


What on earth are you babbling about, woman?

What he should do is stop for 2 weeks, not do the same weights and do lesser reps which means a lackadasical workout. In that case, he is better off taking a 2 weeks break and come back fresher than ever.

I wonder what is your intentions here. I think you are out to mislead others here. For shame.
 

beasty

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Originally Posted by pg600rr
So I have been finally working out on a steady basis after years and years of doing it for a few months then a month off then a few months and two months off, etc etc. I have been on now for a little over 7 months and my progress was great up until now (btw I am not looking to get huge, pretty much just lean, cut, and overall good shape), I am 6'1" 183 lbs.. During this time I have been doing pretty much the same exercises/routine the whole time. My splits have been chest/bis, shoulders/tris, legs/back, with cardio sprinkled in after each workout. I usually do 3-5 exercises per body part, with 10-12 reps/3 sets. For the past few weeks I have not been noticing progress, it has all seemed to level off and I am not sure what to do?

I was thinking (1) start doing a high rep low weight workout for a few weeks with the same routine. Instead of 10/12 reps I'd do 20-22 reps. OR (2) switch everything completely to all new exercises OR (3) focus on only resistence training, like using bands and my own body wieght to work out OR (4) something else??

Any help or advice would be much appreciated!


1. Plateauing could be attributable to many issues like diet, insufficient rest and sleep, other priorities etc.

Thats why I suggest you take a break, take stock and come back fresher and more raring to go.

2. If thats not the solution, you can add to what you do by doing more sets, complementary exercise, a bit more reps, supersets, pre-exhaust etc.

Whatever you do, dont do 20 - 22 reps. Thats for girls who do weights that are lighter than air. Ditto for using bands and body weight. You might as well use the giant rubber half ball and that thing for your inner thighs that strengthen the pussy muscle.
 

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