Question: I have had several weeks without being able to add any weight to my incline dumbbell presses. What do I need to do to go heavier and get stronger?
Answer: Sticking points can be very frustrating, but not a reason to worry if they are not moving according to your schedule. Often the cause of the plateau is not getting proper rest, stress, not eating healthy enough, or getting enough protein, or all of the above. If those are all properly being addressed, then put your training under microscope.
If your sticking point is a set of eight and you keep trying to get to nine reps with that weight, change directions with your approach. You have several techniques you can choose from to add reps and intensity. One is to go through your warm-ups to get to your working set weight for a set of six reps. Take a one minute break, visualize your next set of four to five reps but use ten pounds more. Take another minute break. For your last set, use the rest-pause method. Do a set of four reps using five pounds more than your previous set. Put the weight down, rest 15 seconds, pick up the same weight up and do two to three reps more. Put those down and pick up a weight that is 25% lighter. Now you crank out another 4 to 6 reps. Your overall set volume and total reps is greater than the weight you were using while you were trying to get that set of eight reps. On your next chest day, breaking past your barrier should be no problem. In general, it’s more productive to vary reps, sets and weight on consecutive workouts to continue with a progressive trend.
Don’t allow yourself to fall into a rut of doing repetitious workouts over and over expecting to see different results.
God bless and keep training,