If you have been working out in the gym for a number of years, you have surely hit a muscle-building and strength plateau. Hitting a plateau is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to any young weight lifter. It becomes a mental game where you are very conscious of the fact that you are no longer getting stronger and gaining lean muscle mass.
This has a number of negative side effects. One of the biggest side effects is that you will lose motivation to train at your peak intensity. I have been training for almost 10 years and have hit a number of different plateaus throughout my training history.
Recently, I hit a plateau and I was able to burst through it quickly because I sat down and really analyzed the mental and physical barriers that I had to get through to achieve my goals. I challenged myself to look at a weight lifting plateau as both a mental and physical obstacle and tried to come up with a few powerful strategies to burst through it and keep those gains coming.
As a working fitness model, I am always in pursuit to get better and improve. I don’t believe in the concept of “staying the same.” I think that lifting weights and training is a metaphor for always improving in life, so when I think I hit a plateau, I become obsessed with bursting through it.
I think these three plateau-busting tips will help anyone from any level or age burst through a plateau and achieve a new level of motivation and confidence in the gym.
The best way to build muscle is to stay motivated and fresh and constantly change things up in the gym and with your mindset. These three tips will help you build muscle fast and get the edge on your competition. Let’s dive in and take a look at the best way to build muscle when you have hit a plateau.
Plateau Buster #1: Don’t Repeat
The best way to build muscle fast in the weight room is to never repeat the same workouts when your body adapts to your routine. I can’t tell you how many naturally skinny guys I come across who are stuck in a rut yet they keep on repeating the exact same routine.
I recently hit a bench press plateau where I was not getting any stronger for a few months. I was going into the gym almost every single workout and trying to see how many times I could lift 225 pounds. I was repeating the same workout every chest day and expecting to see results.
I finally caught my mistake and started doing crazy bench press techniques such as pre fatiguing my chest before lifting really heavy, supersets, dropsets, and even reverse negatives. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’trepeat the same chest workout for three straight months!
The end result of this was that I was able to increase my incline and flat bench press by almost 40 pounds! This is a radical increase in strength for someone who has been training for as long as me.
Whenever people tell me they are frustrated with their muscle-building progress, I challenge them to drastically change up their weight lifting routine and shock the muscles in new ways.
The best way to gain muscle is to force your body to experience new kinds of overload. Throughout my 10 years of training as a naturally skinny guy, the fastest way to build muscle has always been when I am doing new and exciting workout strategies.
Plateau Buster #2: Challenge What You Know
Another powerful muscle-building strategy is to challenge what you know and to bend the traditional weight lifting rules of the gym.
I was in a major plateau with my arm development and decided that I would attempt to train my arms more frequently. I started drilling my biceps 3-4 times a week and would train shoulders intensely on back-to-back days.
After two months of this unique training strategy, I had the most impressive looking arms of my life. If you look at my physique from the Weight Gain Network YouTube channel from about 10 months ago and compare it to my most recent videos, you will see a drastically different physique. This is all because I challenged what I knew and tried out some radical training strategies.
If you surf the internet and troll around bodybuilding magazines you would never read, they will tell you that you should work out your arms almost every day or blast the same muscle group two days in a row at maximum intensity. The fact of the matter is that sometimes you have to challenge the rules and figure out what works best for your physique. The best way to build muscle will not be the same for everybody, so throw some unique strategies out thereand see if you can get results!
Plateau Buster #3: Re-Invent Your Motivation
One of the best ways to build muscle quickly is to re-assess your mental motivation. Working out is just as mental as it is physical. If you don’t constantly find new ways to motivate and inspire yourself, you will quickly burn out.
Building muscle mass is a challenging thing that will require your maximum workout intensity on a regular basis. I have found that I always need new mentors and new mental approaches to keep positive momentum in the gym and burst through plateaus.
One great way to burst through a plateau is to find a fitness mentor. I hope that I am able to help you guys through advice and motivation as a fitness mentor, but you have to figure out what style you respond best to.
One of my favorite fitness mentors for me personally has been Greg Plitt. Greg Plitt has helped me burst through a few personal plateaus and helped me forge the right mindset to always stay motivated.
Another great way to burst through a plateau is to choose a different workout partner. You want a workout partner who will mentally motivate you and push you to excellence. Ideally, you want a workout partner who is stronger than you.
Another strong mental approach is to change the gym you workout at. Sometimes a new atmosphere and a new gym can be a powerful mental catalyst that pushes you through a plateau. This has helped me tremendously over the years and is a great strategy to build muscle.