The first few weeks at the gym are always the most rewarding. Every week, it almost feels like you break another personal record and the results are showing. If you see your progress starting to slow down, there might be a few reasons why. One common mistake many new lifters make is that they do not switch up their routine. When you stick to the same routine with the same number of reps and sets, your body adapts to your workout and it will become less intense.
It is similar to how the more you do High Intensity Interval Training, the less effective it becomes. Your body is in better condition. In order to counteract this, you need to either switch up order of the exercises, the exercises themselves, the number of reps you do, or even how long you rest between each sets. You can check out the article about supersets if you are curious about resting time between sets.
Another common mistake that I used to make as well as running before lifting. You’re probably thinking, aren’t you supposed to warm up to prevent injuries? Well yes and no. Cardio takes up a lot of energy and unless you working out your legs, it isn’t really warming up your muscles.
Even if you are doing legs that day, doing extensive cardio can lead to injuries, as you are more likely to be tired. The proper way to warm up before exercise is to perform the same exercise you would during a normal set at only half the weight. That way, it sends oxygen to the proper muscle group and not just your legs. If you do need to do cardio, save it for after the workout.
Another tip that will intensify or at least expedite your workout is having a routine already planned out. That way, you don’t have that awkward break after the last set of a workout where you are trying to think of what to do next. Your workouts shouldn’t really be taking longer than an hour unless you are doing some ridiculous strength training. Have a list of exercises for your routine as you’ll know what to do next and it will help you stay accountable and on track.
Everyone experiences a slowdown in progress at some point. As long as you keep switching things up and tricking your body, getting enough protein, and taking enough rest days, progress will be made.
I wish you good luck with your training!