A plateau is a stall in whatever you are trying to do. If you are trying to lose weight, you aren’t; if trying to build muscle, you can’t. You have reached a point where what you are doing is not working anymore. The reason?
Most likely your body has become accustomed to what you are asking it to do. In short, if you are not challenging it to do better, it won’t. If you keep doing what you have always done, you’ll keep getting the same results, which in this case is no progress.
So the key is to challenge your body – give it a kick in the butt – try something different. But what do you need to change?
Actually, there are several things you can change, including:
Varying how hard you exercise can sometimes kick your body into action. For example, if you typically run, try running on a treadmill so you can change the incline, thus making your body work harder.
Order of exercise:
Sometimes just changing the order in which you exercise can spur some reaction. For example, do your push-ups towards the end of your workout instead of at the beginning.
Number of repetitions:
In the case of strength training, if you always lift the same amount of weight for the same number of reps for a particular move, change to more weight and drop the number of reps. Your body doesn’t like to be stressed, so it accustomed itself to a particular load by building muscle so it can handle that load. But if you load it more, buy increasing the weight, but lowering the number of reps, it will respond by building muscle so that it doesn’t have to repeat that stress again. It is called progressive overload.
Rest between sets:
Mix things up by shortening the amount of rest between sets or between different exercises. Or try doing a superset where you don’t rest between sets, but instead rest after all the sets of a particular exercise are finished.
One more reason:
One more reason why you might not be showing any progress is overtraining. Contrary to popular belief, muscle growth doesn’t occur while training; it occurs during rest and recovery.
However, if you are training those muscles too frequently, they might not have enough time to fully recover. That is why fitness experts say to take a week off of training every six to eight weeks to give your body a week of rest and time to grow muscles, in addition to your normal one day of rest per week.
Because everyone is different, you may have to try a few of these suggestions before you hit on one that works for you. But work it will and it will get you back on the road to progress again.