Struggling to break through your one rep max?
Whether its a 5, 3 or 1 repetition max - your max is still your max and being stuck with the same results time and time again can become increasingly frustrating.
Never settle for ‘that will do’. Work at it with our GraspTips and break through that metaphorical wall.
Shock and awe
A plateau is reached when your body has learnt a workout and does not find it a challenge anymore. The element of surprise is the key to breaking through a plateau.
It’s time to change it up! How?
Rep - Sets - Tempo
The standard 8 to 12 reps repeated 4 times is great, ideal for someone at the start of their fitness journey looking to increase hypertrophy and promote lean muscle growth. But what about strength building in the lower rep ranges? Or muscular endurance training at the higher rep ranges?
Want strong muscles?
5 sets of 5 reps and 8 sets of 3 reps are perfect examples of strength building rep ranges. Increase the weight and drop the reps to boost strength.
Want functional muscle endurance?
Drop-sets are another perfect way to beat that plateau. Take your set to failure, but don’t stop there, set the heavy weights down, pick up a lighter weight, and continue beyond failure.
GraspTip - Focus on your tempo and remember the eccentric phase is vital. Increasing the time your muscle is under tension is key for muscle growth. A controlled eccentric phase could be the spark your workout needs.
Challenge your muscles
We at Graspfit love throwing in an extra challenging set to really get the muscles firing. Example - pick three exercises focusing on the same muscle (we chose biceps):
- EZ-bar Preacher Curls | 6 reps + 5 second eccentric
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls | 12 reps + 3 second eccentric
- Barbell Curls | 25 reps + 1 second eccentric
- Repeat for 3 to 5 sets with minimal rests between each.
Change up the routine for a few weeks and you will notice the change.
Take a break
Rest periods play a key part in muscle development. They should be kept between 30-90 seconds for hypertrophy (building muscle mass) and 3-5 minutes for heavy strength training.
GraspTip - Cut your rest period by 10-20 seconds per week. Increase the intensity of the workout. Break through your plateau.
Soon you will find you can lift heavier at your normal rest period. Victory.
No doubt you follow a certain routine - training particular muscles on selected days. You are on the right path but you can break your plateau by mixing this up.
Many people follow an agonist/antagonist split. Monday is chest and back day, Tuesday is biceps and triceps day, etc....
Why not try changing your split to Push/Pull/Legs. I personally enjoy this as it means exhausting the muscles:
- Push Day - Chest and Triceps
- Pull Day - Back and Biceps
- And don't forget Legs Day!
Remember - The element of surprise is the key to breaking through a plateau.
Whichever aspect of your training you decide to change, hit it with 100% effort and before you know it you will break through it.