Have your gains stopped all of a sudden? Are your training sets no longer as effective as they used to be? If yes, then you, my friend, are experiencing the ‘plateau effect’, which means your body has got used to your current routine.
Remember, how during the initial training days your body was all sore; this behavior is the exact opposite of the plateau effect. The training was new for your body and hence your body responded immediately. But now because of repetition your body is used to it and is no longer responding. A plateau usually occurs when your body adapts to the current stimulus (say, exercise) and lifestyle (that is, calorie intake). However, hitting a plateau doesn’t mean that you have to change your training plan altogether.
Now, let’s talk about busting through this wall. Firstly, plan a rest week and trust us, your body is asking for it. It is a myth that muscles grow in the gym, they actually grow when you are resting. And this rest week will work as the much needed recovery for both your body and mind. After recovery, you’re free to hit the weights but with a slight tweak to break the plateau.
Dropsets are one of the many techniques to overcome a plateau. A dropset is one in which even after you have reached failure, you continue by reducing the weight. For example, let’s say you start with 90lbs and reach failure after 8 repetitions. You don’t stop, instead you quickly jump into a dropset with 60lbs (2/3 of previous) and repeat again till failure. Similarly, keep on reducing the weight and squeeze in two more dropsets. We recommend that you incorporate dropsets in your final set of any exercise.
The idea of dropsets is to take your muscles beyond failure so that they respond and bring your training back on track. So, the next time you hit a plateau, fear not, there is always a way!