Ever get stuck in the same loop over and over again? Every week, you go to the gym and do the same exercises with little to no gains. Yet, the little voice in your head is saying, “the gains will come, keep pushing.” Unfortunately, this loop you are in is a plateau, your body has adapted and become comfortable with the exercises. Yes, you might be lifting five pounds heavier on some lifts or maybe lighter, but you have not been keeping track. Even if you did keep track, the minimal changes are somewhat satisfying, because it requires no drastic change.
Let me be the first to tell you, this loop is essentially insanity, since insanity by definition is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting it to yield different results. Working various muscle groups on different days, does not change things. This goes beyond changing shoulder day to Tuesday, instead of Thursday.
It comes down to two things, variety and mental focus.
Going into the gym and doing the same five shoulder, bicep, chest, legs, traps, tricep and core exercises for years, lacks challenge as well as variety. This is the first ingredient to hitting a plateau in your fitness journey. Exercise variety means switching half or all of your specific muscle exercises up every few months.
By changing the exercises you are preventing the body from adapting to the movements, which in turn prevents a drop in progress. Furthermore, paves the way for more advanced moves to be incorporated. For example, standing barbell shoulder press, instead of seated.
However, a simple exercise change is not the only notion that will prevent plateaus. There is a second part, a mindset shift.
Focus on Progress
As soon as you are about to work out, all other thoughts need to be dropped. If you cannot do this willingly, turn on a motivational podcast, speech, or music to get pumped up. Think only about the weight loss or gain goal and the timeline set to achieve it. Let this take up one hundred percent of your focus for the time being. Not only will this help to push you harder, but it will steer you away from just going through the motions.
I like to listen to a gym playlist with only upbeat tunes while picturing my current goal. Through this, my mind has no time to wonder about other things on the agenda for the day.
That said, both of these tasks require some discipline and commitment to achieving your goals. It needs to be a priority to build the body you want, instead of a world of excuses.
If you are unable to prioritize this or need help doing so, feel free to reach out to me in the comment section, and we can figure it out together.