This past weekend I was asked “What do I do when I don’t feel like my workouts are enough anymore?”
This happens to everyone. We all plateau and recognizing when we’re plateauing is the first step to moving past it!
How does it feel to plateau?
You feel like you’re going through a routine and it doesn’t feel like it used to. Things that used to be hard, seem a little easier and your physical changes have seemed to come to a hault.
What do you do about it?
The obvious short answer would be to do something different. Here are some options that I rely on:
If you’re focusing solely on high intensity training or cardio, one option is to try a different form of cardio or my recommendation is to start resistance training.
Weight Training (resistance training) is the perfect plateau crusher because now your working a different part of your muscle than you were with cardio.
If your currently only doing resistance training switch it up for some cardio or a different style of resistance training
There are so many forms of weight training out there! For example, the person who asked this question said she works out at home and feels stuck. I suggested 2 things to her:
She should either take her current workout and add more weight to it. When adding more weight it can be tricky to figure out what’s too much and what’s not enough. I suggest seeing what weight you can do 20 reps of and then see what weight you can do 5 reps. Then meet in the middle and that’s the weight you should be able to get 8-12 reps out.
Because she may not have the extra weight at home, do a more focused version of each exercise (ie slow down a squat so you can really feel it when you go down and then slow back up). So even just changing the speed of your exercises makes a difference.
Rest days- sometimes taking a break for a day or two makes a huge difference. Our muscles need a break and it’s hard to remember that sometimes. I’ve felt the best during a workout right after I take a day or two to recoup.
Lat Pulldowns are an amazing back workout! There are so many different variations that can be done and you don’t need a lat pulldown machine like I am using below. Even though it’s one of the most frequently seen cable machines, you can also do the same motion if you have a full double cable pulley system or if you have bands. In the video below I’m doing two different variations of lat pulldowns: Reverse Close Grip and Neutral Grip. I usually do another variation as well, Wide Grip, but the routine I did today didn’t include them.
Things to remember when doing any variations of lat pulldowns:
You want to start your set by trying not to move your whole body when pulling down, you want to focus as strictly on your lats as you can.
The stretch at the top is a great way to utilize the muscle to it’s full potential.
As you do more sets, you may find yourself rocking a little, which is fine, but try to keep as much of your lats into it as possible.
Before I went to Florida, I mentioned doing either a Powerlifting training program or FastPhysique again, BUT change of plans! I will be traveling again in about 4 weeks, so I found a program on Bodybuilding.com that is a 4 week shred. I’m going to be doing Kris Gethin’s 4weeks to Shred!
I’m excited about this program. It consists of about a half hour of lifting and then 30 mintutes of steady state cardio. This morning was back day, here’s the routine!
Around 2 or 3 weeks ago, I went to my sister in law’s (Emma) company for a SheFit bra party. If you’ve never heard of SheFit, it’s currently a sports bra focused company. They have two different kind of sport bras, one is the Ultimate and the other is called a Lounge bra. Going into the presentation, I had no expectations of buying one. I really had no idea what to expect, I usually see Velcro and think “Hell no” because I assume it just doesn’t last and won’t be sturdy enough. But I was willing to go to a party and try them on for free. At the party, the owner of the company was there, Sara, and she explained why she created the bra and how it works. She had a good reason to create it and it seemed easy enough to put on. So Emma and I tried on a bra over our shirts that we thought would and wow!
Even though I had a shirt and another bra on, I knew there was something different about this sports bra. So we went to the bathroom to really try them on because now I’m hooked! HOLY COW! This sports bra legit holds everything in place better than anything I’ve ever tried on. It’s as customize-able as you can make a sports bra! You buy your size based on the sizing chart and then you can adjust the rib cage band and the straps!!! So now I’m hooked and I had to buy one.
Less than a week later, I get the bag in the mail and am all excited to try it on to find they sent me the Lounge bra on accident 😦 . I left it in the bag, called the number on the receipt and they happily excepted their mistake and mailed me the correct sports bra right away and told me I could keep the Lounge bra! SCORE! Once I received the correct one in the mail, I didn’t want to try it out until I knew I was going to have a workout where I’d be doing a lot of jumping. TODAY IS THE DAY! It was fantastic!
Check out my workout below! Check out SheFit.com today to get your sports bra! I will probably be getting another one soon!
Today was one of my favorite days! Shoulder Day! I started off with the same warm-up I mentioned before and did it even faster than last time! 7min42sec! I dropped 20 seconds! Score! So for my actual shoulder workout this is what I did:
I finallllly feel back to normal. Yeeesh! I will have to admit the break felt good and really had me focus more on nutrition. I didn’t bring the camera today. But had an awesome met con/leg day!
What is met con you may ask! Met con stands for Metabolic Conditioning. What is metabolic conditioning? Metabolic Conditioning or metcon is a mix of work and rest that is done to get the desired effect. I like to do this time to workout when I know I don’t have a lot of time to be in the gym. You can do 20 min of metcon work and leave the gym a hot sweaty mess if you put the right amount of intensity. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a form of metcon. Circuits are another form of metcon. Today I did a FastPhysique metcon circuit where I did 6 exercises with lots of reps and timed myself to see how long it took me to do the circuit. This time I only had to do it one round. This is what I did and it took me 8 minutes to do it with just a 45lb barbell:
(15) strict overhead barbell presses
(20) upright rows
(25) front squats
(35) overhead push presses
(40) barbell back squats
This was awesome!!!! I actually did this as a warm-up for my leg day because I haven’t been in the gym in a while. For the full FastPhysique program, this would be the whole workout, but I’d also be working out 6 days a week.
The rest of my leg day consisted of:
3×15 seated calf raises; 90lbs
4×12 leg press; 180lbs
4×15 sumo goblet squats; 27.5lb dumbell
2×12 Lying Leg Press; 78lbs/ DROPSETS 2X12; 78lbs/58lbs (my feet felt like lead walking up the stairs after this)
12 min cool down on the bike; 2 miles
10 min Aaptiv stretching
Click here if you would like to read more information regardin metabolic conditioning from an article from Men’s Fitness.
Thanks to taking off work today, I got a chance to work out with my dad!
Along with Rob, he’s another person who is super influential in my bodybuilding lifestyle. He basically started it from when I was still in diapers LOL! Just kidding, but growing up we did have a full weight set in the basement that both my parents utilized. My dad did a few bodybuilding shows as a teenager and has always loved bodybuilding. Even after having shoulder surgery and back issues, he’s never stopped. So today’s work out was chest and triceps. I only got video footage of the end of our workout. Enjoy!