I’m stuck on my workouts, what should I do? 5 techniques to improve your workouts

It’s not uncommon for people to plateau in their workouts. Generally, most people see immediate results when they begin working out, and gradually see them increase over the next 3-9 months depending on how much they are training. Afterwards, people tend to get stuck on the same lifting amount, the same body cut and become frustrated as a result. There are a few things you can do to push yourself beyond this point, as outlined below.

1. Switch up your workouts. Someone who has been stuck on a certain lifting amount, say 20KG (44lbs) per a shoulder for a shoulder press, needs to switch their positioning. For example, if you are using a machine, switch to free weights and see if you can do the same weight. If not, this will be a huge step. If you find that you can lift the same amount, no worries, as you will work on more parts of the body by using free weights, which will help you develop overall strength for moving onto heavier weights.

2. Develop other parts of the body. Building off the last part of number 1, if you feel as if your shoulders cannot lift anymore, think about what other parts of the body have not been developed enough that may be hindering your progress. For example, when you push during a shoulder press you are using other parts of your body such as the triceps and biceps. You may want to think about strengthening those parts first before trying to do heavier. Often, this works the best. The same technique can be applied to one’s back if you are trying to lift heavier weights on your chest workouts.

3. Change the angle. Using the example of the shoulder press, often guys will lift vertically. This is fine, and helps build muscle, but once in a while it is good to move the bench back a notch on the settings so that your shoulders will push up at more of an angle. This will help develop more shoulder strength and bowling ball type features in the shoulders and further develop the front parts as well. The same can be said for adjusting the angles at which you do bench, such as going at 30 degree angles to improve your upper chest more.

4. Change the intensity. Often, guys and gals will either go too quick or too slow when working out. For lifting weights, it is good to give yourself some breathing room between heavy weights so that after your first set you will have more energy to do another big set or monster set as Mike Chang calls it. If you go too quickly between monster sets you won’t have enough energy to go on, so slow it down to a few minutes between each of those sets. When you get down too lower weights it is better to shorten the intervals as to exhaust the muscles more and get more tone.

5. Change the diet. This is very important. Most people either do not eat enough after their workouts in order to gain muscle or eat the wrong things. Make sure you get plenty of nutrients and protein before and after your workouts if building muscle is your goal. Otherwise, if you are aiming to lose fat make sure to trim down your meals as well as pay more attention to what you are eating.

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Trainers upon trainers emphasize this and it is only until recent they revealed why such methods work. Essentially, the point is to trick your body so that it will react in a different way. I know that seems weird but what happens when the body gets in a routine for too long is that it becomes dull. Ever notice even when you get really used to work after years of doing it that you tend to feel unchallenged and hence want to move onto something more? The body is no different, and therefore we need to constantly challenge it and feeding it different ways of growth if we want to improve, which is what the methods above are geared towards.

In fact, people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger used such methods in order to get big, as did Mike Chang. Both individuals know they need to be switching things up so that their bodies continue improving, and in the case of Arnold he calls it “shocking the body” whereas Chang refers to it as “utilizing the afterburn effect.” Both methods speak to the same thing and are based off the tips above so if you follow them there is a good chance you will step over that plateau you are stuck on and instead start seeing the results you desire.

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