Progressing with Bodyweight Training - Part 3: Breaking Through a Plateau

Picture this: you’re following a workout program and you’re doing great, until one day you just seem to stop making progress.  You are stuck at the same reps and not getting any further.  You’ve hit a plateau.

This happened to me a lot with pull ups.  I would be stuck at a maximum of, say, 3 pull ups, but I could never seem to do a fourth.  It didn’t matter how many sets of 3 I did during my workout, I just never saw any progress.

Here are a few simple tricks so that you never have to end up where I was.

1. Make sure your body is rested.

This is always the first thing you want to check.  A lot of times people plateau because their body has not had sufficient time to recover.  Every day, just tune into your body and see how it’s doing.  Is it tired? Is it sore? Practice listening to your body and giving it what it needs.

If you are tired, take a rest day and let your body fully recover.

2. Check your form

It is easy to work out with poor form without knowing it.  I’ve been guilty of that many times!  And if you exercise with poor form then your muscles are not going to get the full effect of your workout and you won’t get as strong.

So when you work out, take a video of yourself performing each exercise.  Then compare your form to a trusted tutorial video (not all tutorials are created equal).  Correct what you did wrong, and try the exercise again.  Do you feel a difference?

Making sure your form is on point will make all the difference in your training.

3. Use supersets

If your body is rested and your form is good, a great way to bust through a plateau is by using supersets.  A superset is when you perform an exercise to failure and then immediately perform an easier version of the same exercise.  An example of this would be doing as many pull ups as you can, and then doing as many pull up negatives (the downward part of the pull up) as you can.

What this does is it targets the same muscles and allows you to sneak in more reps, thus making yourself stronger.

If you had hit a plateau and these tips were helpful, I’d love to hear about it!  Go ahead and leave a comment below.

And I’d love to know, what is the biggest question you have about fitness right now?  Leave a comment below and your question could show up on my blog