How to break a lifting plateau

weight room

Let’s see how to break a lifting plateau!

If you haven’t already hit a lifting plateau, you will sooner or later, and if you have you know how frustrating it can be. Many people will give up after hitting a plateau or they’ll become demotivated, but it doesn’t have to be like this. Let us show you how you can do this with 3 great methods.

1. Drop Sets
Drop sets are probably the best and easiest method to break a plateau, but you should already be using them in some form or another. This is because drops are also great for muscle building, strength improvement, and your cardiovascular strength. A drop set is where you continue your set after you’ve reached failure by lowering the weight you were originally lifting and continuing with the set, no break in between. For example, say you’re doing incline dumbbell press, you’re doing 90 lbs in each hand and you’ve just hit your 7 reps but you were hoping for 10. You would drop the 90 lbs, and go to 60 lbs, and pump out the last 3 reps to hit your total 10. You can add multiple drop sets, as long as you reach the target total reps you wanted. This is a great method to break the plateau and improve any muscle you want.

2. Rest-Pause Sets
Rest pause sets are taking a weight to failure 2-3 times in one set, to drastically improve a weaker muscle group and/or to break the plateau. For example, you’re doing incline dumbbell press, trying to hit 10 reps, but you can’t seem to get past 5. Once you hit failure, put the weight back and count to 5. Take a breath, and get the weight again and try to pump out as many as you can t hit your target. Say you only hit another 2 reps, rack the weight again and this time count to 10. After you’re done, unrack the weight and try to squeeze the final 3 reps.

3. Supersets
Supersets are great for not only building muscle but also for cardiovascular improvement. A supersets is taking two exercises which can be in the same muscle group but they don’t have to be, and doing them back to back without rest. The objective is to do them back to back without rest or with as little rest as possible. The quicker, the better. Here is an example of a superset for some chest work:
Flat dumbbell press: 3 sets of 10 reps
Incline dumbbell flys: 3 sets of 10 reps

Happy lifting!

About the Author

Ben M

Ben is the lead editor at Busylifting.com. His passion for fitness developed at a young age from involvement in sports, and carried on since then. Ben focuses on strength training and is also involved in coaching youth soccer.

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