Strength training

How to Get Through a Strength Training Plateau in 4 Easy Steps

There will come times in your strength training when you might observe that your muscles no longer seem to grow or respond as much to physical training as they once did. This can be extremely frustrating and a lot of people may simply give up or slack off on their strength training at times like this. If this is you, then we have some really good news for you: There are a few simple tricks you can use to burst out of a strength training plateau. Read on for the details.


  1. Take a Break

Taking time off strength training might sound like a bad idea, because you lose strength gains from training when you don’t train, right? Well your muscles might lose some of that hard rocky feel and might not be able to do as much work as before, but it takes a while for the actual muscle fibers to degenerate. Even when this happens, the nuclei of theses muscles do not degenerate, which means that people who have ever been very physically active, will always find it easier to recover lost muscle mass, than beginners. Basically, this means that you can take a one or two week break from your training without much risk of atrophy. In fact, the available evidence shows that strength trainers who take a week or two off training completely, actually achieve faster rates of growth when they return to training. Whether this is due to the increased elasticity of fascia is not certain, but what is, is that taking a break from training will help you get over a plateau.

  1. Stretch

This may sound like an odd solution for a muscle building plateau, especially given the fact that a lot of muscle builders, and people trying to gain muscle mass, tend to look down on stretching. But there is some evidence to suggest that failure to stretch or failure to stretch adequately, could significantly affect the rate at which your body grows muscles beyond a certain point.

The rationale for this theory is the fact that muscle fibers are wrapped in a protective sack called fascia and fascia does not grow as fast as muscles do; which means once the fascia reaches its elastic limit, muscle growth might be slowed down for a while. Strength training does not have an effect on fascia but stretching does, so your strength training should be mixed with significant amounts of stretching.

There isn’t a lot of research to clearly prove  this theory, but it does seem to make sense; so if you get to a point where your muscles don’t seem to be growing as fast as they were previously,  dedicating some time to stretching, might not be a bad idea.

  1. Try something new

After a while, your muscles will get used to any new exercise and when this happens your body adjusts and no longer responds in the same way. You might be able to get some stimulation by de-training your muscles for this particular exercise and stimulating them by learning a new or modified version of the original exercise. For example, people whose bodies have adjusted to push-ups should take a break from push-ups and try pull-ups for a week or two, or combine push-ups and pull-ups in their training routine.

  1. Add some intensity

Once your body has adjusted to a particular exercise, one way to maintain your gains is by increasing the intensity at which you workout. Although high-intensity interval training is often associated with cardio, you can increase the intensity of your strength training by employing HIIT techniques such as Tabata training where you go all out on a particular exercise and then rest for 20 second and 10 second periods respectively, over a four minute period.

You could also try increasing the number of reps you do and decreasing your rest periods in between sets, to ramp up the intensity of your workout sessions and keep your muscles making significant gains.


You don’t have to let that infamous training plateau get in the way between you and a fitter, stronger body; use these tips we have shown you here to take charge of your training and keep making impressive gains.

A fitness instructor might be able to help you make even more progress and if you would like to hire one, we would be glad to connect you with someone you can trust. Kindly get in touch with us at:

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