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PostHeaderIcon 112 Ways To Break Your Plateau

According to the law of overload, we must place new demands on the body in order to make it change. For example, if you want to lower your fat percentage, you must exercise in order to burn more calories and become thinner. If you want to make your muscles stronger or faster, you must load your muscles with heavier weights or train in a way that makes you faster. We add some recovery and rest to the formula so the body has time to adapt and what you have is a stronger, faster, bigger or smaller frame. Once your body has adapted, it is a new, fitter body. But what if you want to lose more weight or improve your athletic performance to an even higher level?

Now you have to load your body in a new way because it has adapted to the loads you initially placed on it. When the body stops improving (stops losing weight or getting stronger or faster), it is called a plateau. A plateau is something trainers are very familiar with. In order to break plateaus, we introduce new challenges in order to generate more results.

So basically, if you want more results, do something new. If you want to maintain your body, do what you have been doing, if you want to reverse the affects of exercise and become less fit, stop doing what you are doing and let yourself go.

Breaking a plateau doesn’t have to be daunting. Change can be exciting and interesting. Just for fun, I compiled a huge list of simple ways to break a plateau below. If you find that your body has stopped changing, pick something from the list below that you haven’t tried yet and is specific to your athletic goals. To learn how I broke my plateaus while losing weight after having a baby, check out this blog: http://heroestraining.com/?p=80

112 SIMPLE WAYS TO BREAK PLATEAU:

  1. Lift heavier weights with fewer repetitions
  2. Lift lighter weights with more repetitions
  3. Add one or two more sets
  4. Time your rest periods and make them shorter
  5. Take a break (sometimes, we stop improving because our body is burnt out)
  6. Find out where you are weak and strengthen those areas (you’ll be surprised at how much addressing your weakness will enhance your athletic performance)
  7. Use bands instead of weights
  8. Use weights instead of bands
  9. Use cable instead of weights

10.  Use barbells instead of dumbbells

11.  Use dumbbells instead of barbells

12.  Use kettlebells instead of dumbbells or barbells

13.  Use a tire or boulder instead of barbells

14.  Do Jumping Jacks, pushups, burpees etc. between sets as an active rest.

15.  Stop using rest periods and do circuits instead (a circuit program consists of working out one muscle group and then working out another muscle group while you rest the other. You never stop moving)

16.  Try doing a really intense fifteen minute workout instead of a moderate one hour workout

17.  Do speed intervals instead of long distance (intervals are cardio workouts where you go really hard and then rest for a timed interval, and then go really hard again)

18.  Do shorter speed intervals (ie, 100 yard sprints instead of 400 yard sprints)

19.  Do longer speed intervals (ie, 800 yard sprints instead of 400 yard sprints)

20.  Do fartlegs (ie, run or cycle fast for 3 minutes, jog for five)

21.  Do long distance instead of intervals

22.  Walk up a hill

23.  Walk up a steeper hill

24.  Run up hill

25.  Do hill intervals (sprint up a hill, then rest or just walk down. Then sprint up the hill again for a set amount of times)

26.  Run while pushing a sled

27.  Run while pulling a sled

28.  Run while pushing a baby in a stroller

29.  Do bear crawls instead of running or walking (walking or running on all fours, hands and feet)

30.  Instead of just sitting in front of the computer, flex or squeeze your muscles while working

31.  Instead of sitting or lying down while watching TV or reading, ride a stationary bike; walk on the treadmill or any other exercise.

32.  Hike up hill while pushing a baby in a stroller (I used to do this. It’s really hard)

33.  Swim instead of run

34.  Try skipping instead of running

35.  Try the rowing machine

36.  Lunge up hill

37.  Try step up lunges

38.  Try step forward lunges

39.  Try walking lunges

40.  Try split, jumping lunges

41.  Lunge in a different direction

42.  Lunge with a child on your shoulders

43.  Do pushups with a small child on your back

44.  Do pushups with someone pushing on your shoulders

45.  Do pushups with a band pushing on your shoulders

46.  Do sit ups with a child pushing on your chest

47.  Use a weight vest

48.  Use a sand bag

49.  Use ankle or wrist weights while taking pilates class

50.  Hire a personal trainer

51.  Join a fitness class

52.  Sign up for a race or marathon training program

53.  Take up a new sport

54.  Run or cycle on a different trail than you are used to

55.  Play tag with your kids

56.  Try jump squatting instead of just squatting

57.  Do one legged squats instead of squatting

58.  Do one legged lunges instead of just lunging

59.  Do one legged deadlifts instead of just deadlifting

60.  Try squat thrusts instead of your usual squat routine.

61.  If you do back squats, do front squats instead.

62.  If you do front squats, do back squats instead.

63.  Try squatting on an uneven surface like a bosu ball

64.  Try pushups on a bosu ball.

65.  Try pushups on two bosu balls

66.  Try pushups on a stabilitiy ball

67.  Try pushups on two stability balls

68.  Try crunches or planks on a bosu or stability ball

69.  Try clapping plyo push ups

70.  Try pushups with one leg off the floor

71.  Try pushups with one arm off the floor

72.  Do a pull up or pull up assist instead of a lat pull down

73.  Try one armed pull ups

74.  Climb a rope, pole, tree, mountain or wall instead of pull ups

75.  Do a row from a push up position instead of a standing position

76.  Use a stability ball instead of a bench

77.  Do twenty burpees at the end of your workout before you cool down.

78.  Do twenty jump squats at the end of your workout before you cool down.

79.  Do forty jumping jacks at the end of your workout before you cool down.

80.  Do thirty pushups at the end of your workout before you cool down.

81.  Hit a punching bag as hard as you can.

82.  Get heavier boxing gloves

83.  Get heavier jump ropes

84.  Try criss cross jump ropes

85.  Try hopping on one leg

86.  Try squat jumping with a jump rope

87.  Try jumping up once while spinning the rope twice.

88.  Try jumping up once while spinning the rope thrice.

89.  Just jump faster

90.  Do your workouts faster

91.  Do you workouts slower

92.  See how many reps you can do with a lighter weight

93.  See how many reps you can do with a heavier weight

94.  Do as many reps as you can with a light weight, then do the second set with a heavier weight and switch off.

95.  Take longer rest periods but use heavier weights (just don’t rest for too long)

96.  Only give yourself a certain amount of time to do as many reps as you can.

97.  See if you can beat your time.

98.  Race your friends

99.  Do multiple muscle exercises (for example, instead of just squatting, add thrust press to your workout and make it a squat thrust so you are working your upper and lower body at the same time. Bicep curls isolate the biceps but pull ups work the upper back and biceps.)

100.Do a burpee to a squat thrust

101.Instead of doing leg lifts from the floor, do it while hanging from a bar

102.Do crunches or sit ups from an incline or hanging upside down

103.Do planks instead of crunches

104.Do pikes or jack knives instead of crunches or planks

105.Do planks with one arm or leg off the floor

106.Do pushups with your feet on the wall

107.Try military push ups

108.Try handstand push ups

109.Run, walk, lunge or skip in the beach sand

110.Play soccer on the sand instead of on the grass

111.Run, walk, lunge or skip up a sand dune

112.Go for a walk during your lunch break or after dinner

2 Responses to “112 Ways To Break Your Plateau”

  • Annie says:

    Hi Rhea: Excellent ideas. It brings up a question, why , if after 40 % of my all of my excercises are abdominals, I cann’t get a flat stomach?
    I’ll talk to you next time I see you.
    Thank you!

    Annie

    • Rhea says:

      Hi Annie,
      I just saw this comment and it seemed legitimate. For some reason it was in my spam box. I think this post answers your question. Have you seen improvement so far? If you do see improvement then you have done something right. But if you are not satisfied with what you have now, its time to start doing harder workouts and step up your game so you will see even more improvement. If the problem is fat around the abdominal then I recommend cardio and diet to burn that off. Abdominal exercises will build muscle but if you want to burn fat, you have to burn more calories than you take in. I recommend adding more resistance or doing harder workouts gradually, every two weeks to 1 month. You shouldn’t be lifting the same weight and doing the exact same exercises you did when you were a beginner. Once you have the body you want, then you just have to maintain it.

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