ALICE LIVEING, WH columnist and PT at Third Space, London, shares the secret to powering through fitness plateaus
Our resident PT Alice Liveing will help you lift heavier
As strength training gains popularity, everyone is waking up to its benefits. There are significant physical gains to be achieved with this style of training, including weight loss, on top of the obvious musclebuilding. You’ll increase bone density and muscle mass, and it can lower your risk of numerous chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Incorporate strength training into your routine and you’ll gain power and really wake up to the capabilities of your body. Soon, you’ll be itching to lift heavier, trust me.
Smashing a weight PB can be one of the most satisfying parts of resistance training, and the technique many coaches employ to achieve this is progressive overload. Definition: the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise – in this case, slowly upping the weight on each lift. Heavier weights mean increased muscle mass, which will boost your ability in big lifts, such as squats and deadlifts. However, progressive overload isn’t immune to plateau, and the rapid gains you saw at the start of your training can tail off. Then, your muscles will need a different sort of stimulus to get stronger. Trying skill-based moves – such as a Turkish get-up – can be a great way to combat this plateau. Plus, some singleleg work will even out any strength imbalances and improve stability to give power to lifts. What is it they say? Nothing worth having comes easy.