4 Reasons You’ve Hit Muscle-Building Plateau and How to Power Through It

To put it simply, having a muscle-building plateau means that your muscles have hit a wall and have stopped growing. When this happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your muscles can’t grow anymore. It simply means that there’s something you’re not doing right. Read on to see the different causes of plateaus and what you should do to gain muscle again.

1. You don’t do progressive overloading

Progressive overloading is one of the main principles of building muscle. When you start lifting weights as a complete beginner, naturally you’ll see some gains within a month or two. If you don’t increase the weight you’re lifting after that, you’ll hit a plateau. This is where progressive overloading comes in. For example, you do 4 sets of 8 reps on the squats during the first week. Then in the second week, you do 4 sets of 9 reps. Then on the third week, you do 4 sets of 10. After that, you increase the weight. This is basically what progressive overloading is.

2. You don’t “change up” your workouts

One of the main reasons you hit a plateau is because your muscles are “already used” to your workouts. Let’s say you routinely do bench presses then head directly to the pull-up bar after. Your muscles already know what’s coming. Our muscles only grow if they’re put under enough stress. That’s why you should constantly change up your workouts. For example, you could do drop sets where you lift 25 kg dumbbells and do 10 reps. Then without rest, switch over to the 20 kg dumbbells and do another 10 reps. Then drop the weight again and do another 10. This will add a new dynamic to your workouts.

3. You don’t eat enough or you don’t eat right

Seasoned gym-goers and professional bodybuilders will tell you that gaining muscle is all about proper nutrition more than it is about staying for hours at the gym. To put it simply, you have to take in more calories than you burn and you do that by eating more. In addition to that, you also have to pay attention to your protein intake. If you don’t already know, protein mainly helps build and repair our muscle tissues. That’s why you have to eat enough protein, fat, and carbs daily to help your muscles develop better and faster.

4. You don’t get enough Z’s

Many would say that Singaporeans tend to skip out on sleep. This will be a problem if you’re trying to gain some muscle. Sleep is just as important as nutrition because it’s a time for your body to recover and make repairs. In fact, the muscle-building process really kicks in not when we’re in the gym, but when we’re already in our beds getting a good shut-eye. This also helps us increase our testosterone as well, which is also vital for growth. So, make sure you get enough sleep.