People trying to gain weight or see increases in strength will usually hit a plateau and see their gains stall for a bit. It could happen three weeks into a workout program or 12 weeks in. You never know, but at some point it will happen. The stall in strength and mass is not even the worst part, it's the feeling of working your butt off and not seeing results. That feeling can wreak havoc on your motivation and make you feel like giving up. But, you should remember two things when you hit a plateau …
1. Hitting a plateau is not the end of the world. It's just a part of the game. Learning how to bust through a plateau is when the fun really starts.
2. Ask the right question. Some people use a plateau as an excuse to have mediocre workouts and slack off on their diet. Instead of taking that route, you should ask yourself how you can get through a plateau and make sure you do not hit another one.
If you have a hit a weight gain plateau, it's a perfect time to revisit the basics. Most people, when they first try to gain weight, learn the basics and make sure they are doing everything perfectly. Well, over time, as they gain weight and see awesome results, their confidence goes through the roof and they begin to think they do not need to follow their own rules as strictly. It happens all the time. Being confident in your ability makes you believe you can slack off a bit and still achieve everything you want.
Take a little time and contemplate these 5 rules for gaining weight. Are you sure you have not slacked off on any of these?
Have your calories dropped off? Not eating the right types of foods? Not getting the correct ratios of macronutrients? Timing of macronutrients? These are just a few questions you may want to ask yourself.
Feeling tired? Not getting 8 hours a night? Reassess your sleep schedule.
Focusing on cardio can burn calories that can be used for gaining weight and putting on muscle. Cardiovascular endurance and health is important, but it may cause your weight gain to stall.
It's important to be honest with yourself here. Have you been hitting the gym with the same intensity or just shaving off those last couple sets and promising to make up for them the next day? Make sure you are pushing yourself with your strength training.
Have you been neglecting compound lifts and supplementing them with isolation exercises? Focusing on the wrong body parts?
So, what's the answer? Still doing everything down to a tee?
If you have not, revisit some of those articles and relearn what it takes to reach your goals. And if you have been sticking to the rules, you still should not be worried. It's tougher to make gains as your body adapts to your training habits. Sometimes, there comes a time when you need to change up your workout routine completely in order to shock your body to grow and get bigger. Doing the same thing day in and day out for too long will stall your growth. Try switching up your exercises, rep ranges or start doing some drop sets and negatives. But, still, the most important thing is to not give up and be mediocre. Whatever you did may have worked in the past, but a plateau can only be explosively busted through. Half-assing it will not work. The most important thing is having a positive mindset when you hit a plateau. What do you think will happen if you do not believe you can do it and actually expect to fail?