How to Cycle Your Training Plan to Bust Through Plateaus

How to Cycle Your Training Plan to Bust Through Plateaus (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The Science Behind Exercise Plateaus

Each individual muscle is composed of millions of bundles of muscle fibers. Electromyography (EMG) is a tool scientists have used to peer inside our muscles. They examine the different parts and let us know what is going on during exercise. Most exercises only flex your muscles in one way, targeting the same subset of muscle fibers and neglecting some of the others. When you focus on one exercise without variation, the targeted muscles get a repetitive and limited form of exercise.

3 Exercises to Break Through Your Workout Plateau — Cityline

Build Muscle to Lose Fat

Everyone knows you can do cardio for fat loss, and cardio is an important part of every exercise program. But did you know that strength training can give a powerful boost to your ability to burn calories, too? Muscle burns a lot of calories, even when you’re resting. So, building muscle is a good goal to have, even if you’re trying to lose weight.

Cycle your Training Plan to Build Muscle Fast

Let’s assume that your main focus is cardio training, and you have run into a plateau. Cycling your exercises and introducing a focus on strength training can help. You’ll build up some muscle that will allow you to break through that plateau. A varied routine is the best way to ensure you stay on track and avoid problems.

High-Intensity Muscle Building Workout — SixPackAbs

Example Plateau-Busting Workout

  • Monday: Upper-body (high-intensity)
  • Wednesday: Lower-body (high-intensity)
  • Friday: Full-body (medium-intensity)

Switching Up Your Workout

So how much should you focus on cardio? And how much should you focus on strength training if your goal is to lose weight?

Cycle Your Training Plan Every 4 to 6 Weeks

Cycling your training routines help you avoid fitness plateaus. In addition, it will help ensure no muscle group gets too much attention while others get neglected. How you work each muscle group will impact your training as well. Changing the exercises you use to work each muscle group will help, too. This is because you will maximize the return on your fitness routine. Combined, these strategies can ensure optimal flexibility and muscle growth while minimizing the risk of injury and the chances of hitting a plateau.

Alternating Workouts with Creative Themes

One way to make sure you have a well-rounded and engaging fitness routine is to use simulated sports. A basketball-themed workout can help you improve your skill-set specific to that sport. But even if you don’t play basketball, incorporating basketball-centric activities will allow you to use your muscle groups in different ways. You’ll likely avoid repetitive motion injuries that can come from doing the same set of exercises too often. And including different kinds of workouts into your routine will help things from feeling too stale or repetitive.

Basketball Workout as a Fun Exercise (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Plan to Cycle your Training: Exercise Should Be Fun

The best way to deal with exercise plateaus is to never encounter them. With careful planning and attention to your results, you can develop a healthy routine. And as you cycle you training plan through a series of different workouts, you may find that you never actually hit a plateau — physically or mentally. After all, physical fitness is best attained when it is incorporated as a part of your lifestyle. Making it fun will exercise a part of who you are as opposed to just something you do.

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