Your muscles are a body of cells that must be adequately trained in order to grow larger. These cells adapt very quickly to a given stimulus, such as lifting a particular weight, and stop responding to the work after a while. This leads to the plateau that many people experience. The plateau is the reason so many people seek personal trainers and other fitness experts to help them reach their goals. Knowing how to get over this plateau is the fundamental key to achieving a well-conditioned physique.
We’ve looked at various ways to get over that plateau in the past; most options dealt with changing how you lifted, or the way you lifted. Doing different exercises, increasing weight, doing supersets, or drop sets, etc. will help keep your muscles growing. Something else we haven’t discussed is doing a serious squeeze when you reach maximum contraction. This action helps pump blood into the area, helps you achieve muscle hypertrophy faster, and ensures that your muscles are getting hit with a different a slightly different stimulus.
It isn’t necessary to do this on every rep, but on your last set, really try to squeeze your chest when your hands reach the center during cable flys, or when your arms straighten during a tricep push down, or when you’ve reach the end of your concentration curl. The added stress will ensure a better pump and better work the muscle.
It’s true, this one technique isn’t going to solve your plateau problems by itself, but when you are fighting for each additional ounce of muscle, every little bit helps. Adding even a slight bit of muscle to your body will dramatically increase your metabolic rate, and have you burning more calories at rest. This is the primary reason weight lifting is such a good idea for those people trying to lose serious weight.
Always mix up your workouts, add little things like a squeeze at max contraction, eat healthy consistently, and you will be well on your way to overcoming any plateau you may face.