Your workouts should be very demanding. They should be Intense (yes I know In the past I said your workouts shouldn’t be demanding just read on.) and very focused. With this Intensity comes the need to rest to allow your muscles to fully recuperate from the demand that you have placed on them. Progressively overloading the muscles and forcing them to adapt by adding new muscle to handle future demands achieve muscle growth. However, If you never allow your muscles to fully recuperate, they will not be able to handle any new demands placed upon them. They will start getting weaker from less rest. That Is how plateaus happen.
I’m going to help you take the necessary steps to combat this problem. We are going to systematically wipe out long-lasting plateaus, forever. We do this by training smarter, not just harder. Proper rest and recovery from working out are so Important, It literally Is the deciding force behind results and no results. We need an in-depth look as to how to fully recuperate and ensure max recovery.
Here are some steps you can use Immediately to avoid overtraining and hitting a plateau.
Yesterday I posted about some Plateau Myths If you are Interested In reading about some myths click Here
Keep Workouts Short And Sweet
Your weight training should be just that, training with weights and not mixing cardio with It. Workouts do not need to belong to be effective, In fact, If they are too long, they are counter-productive. The goal of weight training Is to go Into the gym and stimulate muscle growth, not to annihilate the muscles. By stimulating them with progressive overload, you are forcing them to respond and adapt to this progressive overload. Anything more Is futile overtraining.
Do Not Turn Your Weight Training Workouts Into Endurance Events
Do not try to “burn fat” while weight training because you will not achieve It. Do not make your workouts longer thinking that more time equals more results. Keep your weight training brief and focused. Complete your workout In less than 45 minutes. This short time period will ensure you do not overdo It, It will ensure Intensity. It’s much easier to focus on 30-45 minutes than It Is an hour. The growth assisting hormones secreted In your body actually peak after about 30 minutes of weight training and then begin to decline rapidly. So keep It quick and intense. No total body workout. Choose one or two muscle groups, train them well, and leave under 45 minutes.
Keep A Lower Rep Range
If you can lift a weight more than six or seven times on the last set or two of an exercise, the weight Is too light and Is not producing overload for your muscles. However, If you cannot get at least three or four, the weight Is too heavy and you may not be benefiting from It. Keep your range between four and six reps give or take a rep. This low range will ensure maximum overload and Increased Intensity. Four to six reps get the job done efficiently and more effectively than higher reps with lower weight. Remember, overload (weight) builds muscle, not reps. Keeping reps low ensures more overload and It Is also easier to Intensely focus on four to six reps than It Is for more than ten.
Keep A Low Number 0f Sets
Again, weight training Is no marathon. You only need one to two heavy sets of an exercise to stimulate muscle growth. Less may not be enough stimulation and more may lead to overtraining. If you feel that you did not work a muscle sufficiently after your two heavy sets, I would question the amount of weight or your Intensity on those sets. You should feel as though you probably couldn’t do another set as effectively as your last one. Remember, It’s not the number of sets that matter, It’s the quality. You will achieve better results with two fabulous, hard-working sets than would you with three or four less-intense sets. Believe me, there Is a very fine line between doing too many sets and not enough. The line seems to be around one to two heavy sets. There Is no law that states If you double the number of sets, you double your results. More Isn’t better, better Is better.
Rest Enough Between Your Sets
Rest at least a minute between your warm-up sets and at least two minutes between your heavy sets. You need to recuperate enough to handle the demand the next set Is going to place upon your muscles. You cannot expend maximum energy on exercise If you are still fatigued from the last set. You will not be able to lift as much weight or as many reps If you are not rested enough. There Is no set amount of time to rest, just feel rested enough so that you can meet or exceed the efforts of your previous set. If you performed a 250-pound bench press for six reps, you need to rest enough so that you can meet or exceed that set. Think of It as a high point that you must reach each and every time you do a set. Without adequate rest, that high point cannot be reached. If the high point Isn’t reached again, that set was a waste of time.
Get Adequate Rest Before Working The Same Muscle Group Again
Heavy and Intense weight training produces microscopic fiber damage to the muscles. It’s because of this damage and rebuilding which causes a muscle to get bigger and stronger. Without proper rest between workouts of the same muscle group, you will not recover sufficiently to handle placing more overload on that muscle group. Again, If your muscles cannot handle the overload, results are diminished. You should wait at least five to seven days between working the same muscle group. If you train biceps on Monday, wait until the following Monday to ensure they are rested enough.
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