Regardless of how long you’ve been hitting the gym, plateaus will occur. For beginners this happens around 6-8 weeks and for those who are more experienced around the gym, at 4-5 weeks. There is no need to change up your entire routine when you hit that wall. If you’ve got a good thing going, keep going, although make it more intense. Over time, your body grows accustomed to workout routines and requires a progressive overload to continue building muscle in order to produce change. Below are several tips for increasing the intensity of your workouts to get past the plateau and make your time at the gym most effective.
This may seem the most obvious answer to increasing the intensity of a workout, and it is. If your sets are getting boring or too easy, slowly increase the amount of weight you are lifting. Research has shown that lifting a heavy weight for 8 reps burns double the calories than lifting a lighter weight for 15 reps. Add weight in 2-5lb increments until you can barely complete the 10th rep.
Challenging your body with balance will increase core muscle involvement and growth. Simply add a weighted ball to your hand instead of dumbbell while doing squats will help keep your mind on balancing the weight in hand. BOSU or stability balls are also extremely useful in maintaining balance while challenging the core.
Increase Aerobic Endurance
By alternating higher speeds, your aerobic endurance will increase as well. This can be accomplished through HIIT workouts or sprinting.
Speed Up Workouts
Decrease rest time in between sets, and cut out the water cooler chat time. Try timing rest to 60 seconds between each set to up the ante. When working on endurance, incorporate higher and lower speeds. In stead of stopping when you are tired, just slow down.