7 ways to avoid muscle stagnation
When making the transition from beginner to advanced weightlifter the exact same exercises or routine does not work as it did at the beginning. Despite your best sacrifices in the gym, you don’t make any changes or improvements in your physical condition, what’s the downside? The answer can be summarized in one simple word… VARIATION!
Most people tend to use a detailed form of training from the beginning, and then rarely break the pattern over the years. The longer a one-dimensional system takes and goes, the more time it takes for you to progressively achieve decreasing changes as it relates to hypertrophy. The human body is an impressively accommodating machine and will therefore quickly let you respond to the stimuli that you are exposed to over and over again.
1. Number of repetitions
If you usually rest two to three minutes between sets, try to shorten the rest period to one minute or less for a time and experience to increase the intensity of your training. On the other hand, if you tend to move very quickly from one series to another, try to slow down and enjoy the ability to move more weight.
3. Repeat Time
It is very simple to get caught using exactly the same exercises over and over again in your routine, while we are all creatures of habit. But when it comes to bodybuilding, this is not the best strategy for progressive muscle development. When your CNS (nervous system) gets too familiar with a movement, fewer muscle fibers are forced to work through the movement. It is essential to change certain exercises from your routine on a regular basis so that your body can continue to respond to the stimulus in an unbeatable way.
5. Order of the Exercises
Perhaps your body is stuck because you have to increase the intensity of your training over a few weeks and astonish your muscles to encourage development. Try to go beyond failure with techniques like:
Forced repetitions: Forced repetitions are those that we perform when we reach muscle failure to cause greater wear and tear on the muscle fiber and for this reason greater hypertrophy. This results in increased muscle development. There are 2 ways to force repetitions: with the help of a partner or via a slight change in the rigorous way of doing the exercise. It is advisable to have a partner to assist you with the final forced repetitions.
Drop sets: There are different ways to do them but I like to take an exercise as a press bank and do four sets frequently. What you do when you finish off the series (the fourth one) is to remove twenty-five percent of the weight and do five to ten repetitions. Then I take away again twenty-five percent of the weight and another five-ten reiterations and once but once. It is a way to lengthen the exercise and reach maximum failure with that exercise.
Partial: An alternative option that can be used is partial series. They are called this way as the execution of the exercises does not include the whole range of movement, but rather only a part of it. The range of motion can change 3/4 of the way, half, a third or a quarter, depending on the particular case.
Rest pause: There are several versions of rest pause. The version that most people know is the one Arnold used: When you get to muscle failure, you rest for five to ten seconds (this is the pause-rest) and do a few more repetitions, you rest for another five to ten seconds and do a few more, continuing until you can’t even lift the weight.
Instead of doing three to four series in a row, try the superseries, triseries or giant series. If you don’t alter the series you can alter the reiterations! Personally, I love 1 and ½ reiterations, consisting of making ½ reiteration between each normal reiteration.
7. Muscles worked
Have you been training your breasts and biceps on exactly the same day for a few years now and have you always and always worked on your quadriceps and hamstrings on exactly the same day? Sometimes all that is needed to give a boost to new development is to disrupt the combination of muscle sets in each and every training. In fact, I invite you to change the locked muscle sets every 8 weeks or so, and gather the muscles (like exactly on what days) giving priority to the parts of the body that need the most work.