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Avoid Training Plateaus. Make Continuous Progress

When you do something frequently its easy to get caught up in a routine, to perform a repeated pattern over and over, time after time. In fact its exactly what we're designed to do, its a survival trait, its hard wired into our DNA. However, when it comes to working out, that trait leads to stagnation and inevitably to a grinding halt in progress.

The overriding success factor to continuous progress in your athletic and physique goals is training progression. Nothing massive, just a small, but consistent, increase in training performance.

The difficulty we face is that each time we go to the gym we typically perform the same exercises, with the same weights, and for the same number of reps. Ok, maybe you add a rep here, drop a rep there, add a few kilos here, drop a few kilos there, but chances are we trained hard, chances are we felt like we had a good workout and chances are we felt good that we'd completed another workout. Unfortunately, chances are that after several weeks we look exactly the same as we did in the first place.

To break this pattern its important to follow a training method that has progression at its heart, Periodisation or HIT are just two techniques that are geared towards this purpose and both work well.

I'll use HIT as the example as its a little easier to talk through.

At each workout you pick one or two exercises per major muscle group and perform one working set of lets say 10 reps. Each time you perform that exercise you do 10 reps (even if you feel you could do more) and each time your training form is the same and the exercise tempo is the same. In fact, the only thing that changes is the weight. Each time you perform that exercise, you increase the weight used by just the smallest amount, and I do mean small, a half of one percent is all it takes.

By just focusing on this you keep all other training factors constant and simply increase the resistance at every workout. This creates constant progression, triggering an adaptive response of increased muscle size.

Over time, using both HIT or Periodisation, you eventually hit a point at which progress stagnates. In Periodisation this is typically the top of your training cycle where your strength peaks and its time to switch to training a different facet of your program (eg speed, technique etc). Using HIT the approach is to recognise that you have hit a point of systemic exhaustion, your body has been pushed to its adaptive limits, and you need to either take a short break, or to increase the time period between workouts to allow for greater recovery.

In both cases, to ignore the circumstances leads to not only a plateau in strength but an actual decline. This is a natural protection mechanism of the body, it de-energises the muscle function to prevent you from stressing it beyond acceptable levels.

Now the question at this point is "Can I extend the training time before I hit this point, so that I can really push progress and build even more muscle before reducing training frequency or training cycle?"

The answer is, to a point, yes you can with a considered use of a couple of sports supplements.

Firstly, a product designed to improve training performance. BioRhythm Pre-Glow is a preworkout intensifier which acts in 3 ways; it liberates body fat for use as energy whilst stimulating the adrenal system for more powerful muscular contractions, it increases blood flow for greater energy regeneration and waste removal during a set increasing endurance and athletic performance, and finally it stimulates focus and motivation for greater training drive.

By adding Pre-Glow to your nutrition program in what you would consider to be your last 2 weeks or so before progress slows, you can typically extend your strength cycle (in the case of Periodisation) or delay the point at which you have to decrease training frequency (in the case of HIT) by 2-3 weeks. In both cases this allows for significantly more strength gains, and hence lean muscle tissue, than would normally be possible, and a higher base point for future training.

The second supplement you want to add would be a post workout recovery product, in this case BioRhythm AfterGlow. Afterglow is a very wide scoped supplement containing at its core a balance of carbohydrates and whey isolate to rapidly assist you after training to stop further muscle tissue breakdown and begin the repair process. Beyond this it addresses joint and tendon repair, CNS energy replenishment, anti catabolic activity, hydration, free radical damage, immune system support, insulin restoration, hormonal balance, muscle and liver glycogen replenishment and muscle cell volumisation.

The importance of a recovery supplement like AfterGlow can't be overstated for people determined to follow a really progressive training program. The biggest barrier to continuous progress is limited recovery capabilities and even without a training enhancer like PreGlow its advisable to take Afterglow, with Pre-Glow its essential.

The use of AfterGlow can again extend the period before training efficiency diminishes as well as reduce the down time at the end of a training cycle or the length of time between workouts.

To make this work for you, Pre-Glow is best used infrequently for periods of a few weeks at a time during such periods as:

  • when training strength begins to hit your upper limits
  • towards the end of a diet when body fat levels have dropped top a point strength may be affected
  • when additional 'life stresses' reduce training motivation/drive/energy.

Afterglow on the other hand is a hugely beneficial all year round supplement and is probably the single best investment you can make to support day in, day out progress inĀ  training.

Your Feedback and Comments

Posted By: PT   Posted: 22/01/2016 16:21:43

Great tie in to something thats so basic I forget it 9 workouts out of 10.

New years resolution, big sticker on training log - Improve at every workout

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