Love your routine but looking for a way to up your game to the next level of training? There is a way to work through feeling like you hit a "plateau" in the gym.
Most of the time, when we hit a plateau it's because of sticking with the comfortable - it's common for people to continue doing the same workouts they enjoy and not have any structure as far as a progressive program. Improper nutrition along with having no goals in the gym can also cause people to maintain versus see any further progress.
We consulted Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist Bradon Budgell about how men can increase the intensity of their gym workouts, and the importance of diet, mobility, and hydration.
To increase the intensity, Bradon suggests trying these three things:
- Follow a program and unsure progressive overload (gradually increasing reps, weight, frequency). Log your workouts and stay consistent while also giving yourself proper recovery days. This will allow you to see the progress you are making along with giving you time to recover and avoid burnout.
- Depending on goals, try different training styles.
- Supersets (doing multiple exercises back to back with no rest in between) are a great way to make your workouts more intense in less time. They will keep the heart rate up which can help with fat loss, increase muscular endurance, and build muscle.
- Drop sets (doing reps of an exercise at a heavy weight until failure, then dropping to a lighter weight and doing reps of the same exercise again) are another great way to increase size and strength. They will allow you to get closer to absolute failure multiple times on your sets and ensure hypertrophy.
- Eating properly can completely change how you feel in the gym. Most people don’t get enough protein in a day (around a gram of protein per pound of body weight) and aren’t fuelling themselves properly for muscle growth. Getting proper meals in (small carbs/proteins to increase glycogen stores) before you lift weights will make you feel stronger and have more endurance. Proper post workout meals will ensure muscle growth and help with your strength gains in the gym.
In addition to increased intensity, Bradon shares that mobility is key when it comes to seeing progress - "Making sure you are moving properly and pain free will allow you to avoid serious injury and feel confident lifting heavier."
Stretching for 15-20 mins a day can have a serious impact on mobility and your quality of life in general. Believe it or not, sleep and hydration are another thing that can help with getting over that plateau.
"Getting enough quality sleep ensures muscle growth and proper recovery. Feeling rested and staying hydrated will fuel your muscles and keep your energy levels higher throughout the day," says Bradon.
About Bradon Budgell
Bradon is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist currently taking online and in-person clients at VIP Fitness & Lifestyle in Vancouver. Born and raised in Powell River, British Columbia, playing hockey and baseball his whole life led to him lifting weights and working with personal trainers by the age of 14.
Over time, injuries and personal challenges caused him to get to an unhealthy place - at one point being up to 270lbs by the age of 20. With time, hard work, and lifestyle changes, he was able to lose 90lbs and get down to a healthy weight. After going through his own weight loss journey, Bradon was inspired to help others do the same. His focus as a trainer is on helping people move pain free and improving their quality of life.