Breaking the Plateau: Training for the Advanced Body Builders
Many a time, advanced body builders complain about experiencing little or no gains after achieving slight success and progress in the initial stages. It is a valid complaint, with a valid reason, and with a valid solution.
The human body is designed in a way that makes it easy to adjust and adapt to change. As the body faces strain and stress in the initial stages of the strenuous work-outs, it has no choice but to react then. However, after some time, the body gets used to the work-outs and perceives it like another habitual activity that no longer causes stress or the same amount of pain.
Therefore, the body stops reacting to the work-outs, and while the individual is still overwhelmed by the intense exercises, there is little or zero progress.
With the problem identified, the solution is not far. An individual is only required to change the workout regime, every once in a while, to assure the body is regularly surprised and does not adjust to a single routine.
Following are some workout changes essential to ensure that the body does not adopt any routine and the plateau is broken:
“Drop sets” is a bodybuilding technique which requires advanced bodybuilders to reduce the weights lifted gradually throughout all exercises. The main theme of drop sets is to drop the weights, once the body fails to respond to the heavier weights, and keep on going till complete exhaustion is reached.
For example, while undergoing the biceps curls, if an individual starts off with 10 pounds at each end, he/she should do as many reps possible till failure. Once exhausted, the weights should then be dropped down to 5 pounds at each corner, with the same process continued. The routine should be repeated with the weights further dropped.
The main idea is to tire the body and have it experience an intense workout which it isn’t familiar with.
Another effective plateau breaking practice for advanced bodybuilders is heavy lifting. Every once in a while it is wise to lift heavy, preferably targeting one muscle at a time. During the workouts, resting periods should be increased while the reps are decreased. The body should be made to experience a more intensive regime, one it fails to recognize.
Once the muscles are hit by a surprise, the plateau is further weakened.
The Zero Rest
As the name suggests, the zero rest technique is for advanced body builders in which exercises are continued without even a minute of rest. It is difficult to pull off; however, gives amazing results.
The idea is to switch workouts without any rest in between so the fibers in the body do not have the time to rejuvenate, which further intensifies the workout. For instance, if an individual seeks to undergo a zero rest chest workout, he/she should do some pushups and switch to another chest exercise without a break.
Both the exercises should be carried out with no break, and the rest period after the two exercises should be as brief as possible. Once a couple of exercises are practiced, the same regime should be continued after a small break.
Although it’s tiring and might lead to a shorter workout time, the Zero Rest routine brings about a definite change and breaks the plateau.