Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why Am I Not Getting Stronger or Bigger?

You consistently go to the gym and have decent nutrition. For months you haven’t made any noticeable progress with gaining strength or muscle mass. At this point, your body has adapted to your training program. This causes you to experience significantly slower progress, stalling your gains.

The Body is Adaptive
Your body will adapt to your training program. This is the reason why you can’t do the same training routine constantly. The more your body adapts to a training routine, the harder it is to make gains. Something of your training program must change consistently to prevent your body from adapting to the program. This will improve your progress and help you make better gains.

How Do I Know?
The best way to know is by comparing your progress in the recent month or months to the first months you started the training routine. Most likely your progression with the training routine was best when you first started it. It is much easier to compare your training progress to another time if you are doing a strength training routine rather than a body building routine. Although, if you are doing a body building routine it is harder to find a right way to measure your progress, since adding an inch of muscle to your arms can take months or longer than a year. Using the method mentioned earlier would still be a good way to measure your progress.

Vary Your Program
Changing an exercise, rep ranges, and total sets are all good way to optimize a training program. The most effective ways to avoid stalling consists of changing rep ranges and the exercises. For example, rotating the close grip bench press with dips and doing five reps a set instead of eight are all great methods of changing your program. If you do low volume workouts try doing high volume workouts. Some training routines may be improper for your current level of fitness and they may be too advanced or too basic for you to make steady progress. In such a case, it is ideal to do a different kind of training routine. You will have to experiment to see what rep ranges, exercises, and training routines work best for you. If you are still making great progress with a training routine you have been doing then there is no need to change it. Multiple training routines, such as of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 training program incorporate some of these programming principles. If you are knowledgeable of what works best for you then it is ideal to make your own training program.

Most people don’t know that they have stalled with their current training program. This does not always mean that they should do a different program when this happens, but they should primarily rotate different exercises that train the same intended muscles and change the rep ranges they do per set on different training sessions.  Utilizing these methods with your training program will help you break through halts in your progress and it will optimize your progress—which could actually make your training program more fun.

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