The key to seeing continued results is to create muscle confusion & stimulating muscle growth. Our muscles not only help to regulate our metabolic levels (number of calories your body needs to maintain basic functions), but also create that “after burn” affect when we damage our muscles during workouts. The thing is if you do the same exercises & the same weights then the muscle becomes strong enough to handle the imposed demands & therefore keep you at your current fitness level. Who doesn’t want to burn extra calories even when not working out???
Here are some tips to know if you are lifting enough weight during your exercises so you can avoid that dreaded plateau:
- The current weight you are lifting is no longer a challenge. If the weight feels fairly easy & you can complete all of your sets & reps with good form, it is time to think about increasing that weight.
- You could complete a kazillion reps. Do you feel like you could do 50 reps instead of 15? If that’s the case you aren’t offering enough resistance to your muscles to create the micro tears that will help to make them stronger.
- The current weight is the same as when you started months ago. Progression is key in seeing results in your program. As you grow stronger over time it is important to impose a more challenging weight.
If you recognize that it is time to increase your weight, follow this tip to do so safely:
- Increase your resistance by 5-10%. The increased weight should noticeably be more of a challenge. If it is not, increase again by another 5-10%. Many times you will not be able to find the exact weight for this so just round down.
- Now that you’ve adjusted the weight you should notice a difference in the difficulty of the movement as well as getting sore after due to damaging the muscle (in a good way).
- Work this new weight into your workouts until you can complete all of your sets (typically 3) & reps (15-20 if building lean muscle) with good form. Once you can accomplish this, go back to increasing your weight again so you avoid halting growth.
Keeping Fitness Fun!! xoxo