Breaking Through Training Plateaus with Periodzation

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Question: I seem to have hit a training plateau. No matter what I do I have not been able to increase my bench press, squat or deadlift much for the past three months. What do I need to do to move past this stale period?
Answer: Training plateaus can be physical, mental or a combination of the two – because your body will do whatever your mind demands it to do, within reason.
Most likely, your stall can be attributed to a lack of periodization. That is a system of training that outlines several weeks or even months of your weights and reps for each exercise. Shorter mini-cycles can be used to great advantage as well.
To increase the weight used in a power-lifting cycle, bench press, squat and dead-lift, you begin by determining your one rep maximum lift for each exercise. Then you follow predetermined cycles that outline the weight and reps for your workouts. These are determined by using percentages your one rep max.
For instance, you may do 65% of your one rep max for 5 sets of 6 reps on bench for a workout and the next workout may have you do 68 % for 8 sets of 3 reps. The training system depends on what you choose. The idea behind it is to prevent plateaus by forcing you to train lighter some weeks but moving progressively heavier weights over a time period, typically 8 to 12 weeks. At the end of the cycle you will establish new heavier max lifts as a new baseline for your training during the next period.
We use mini-cycles which are two workouts for mass and density for a lift or body part, followed by a volume workout. These still have the end result of progressively working towards heavier weights with built in time period for a working recovery.
This allows your body and mind to heal by taking a short break and short workouts to prevent training plateaus. Instead of your mind or body hitting a stalling point randomly, you plan one, build one into the system and get past it quickly never really noticing it. Plan first and execute the plan.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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