Maxi Climber recommends for you an article “12 Ways To Smash Through Sticking Points”
Training is fun when you’re making constant progress.
Hitting new personal records every time you set foot in the gym makes it easy to look forward to your training session.
Unfortunately, these brief periods of uninterrupted personal records don’t usually last long. Sooner or later, you’ll hit a sticking point. You get stuck.
And suddenly, motivation drops and training becomes a burden.
In this article, I’ll give you 12 simple strategies you can use to smash through a sticking point and start making progress again.
#1) Sleep more
You’d be amazed how much of a difference sleep can make in your training program. Olympic weightlifting coach Dan John reports that some Cuban weight lifters actually sleep 9 hours a night PLUS a 3 hour nap during the day.
At some point you have to choose between setting personal records in the gym or late night T.V. Most people choose T.V. And this why 99% of the people in the world can’t squat more than 315lbs.
#2) Eat more
Doug Hepburn realized that eating more food translated into strength gains. I’m not saying you should go crazy and jack up your body fat percentage like Hepburn did, but a few days of forced over-eating can work wonders when trying to smash through a sticking point.
#3) Back off and ramp back up
Sometimes you hit a sticking point because you get greedy and try to add weight to the bar too fast. Case in point: A trainer who add 5lbs to the bar each week in the bench press. It works for a while, but eventually he’ll get stuck. In this situation, a good way to get unstuck is to reduce the weight by 10-20lbs, and work back towards you original sticking point with 2.5 jumps (instead of 5lbs).
With this method, a guy who gets stuck at 225lbs in the bench press will slowly ramp back up to 225 with 2.5 pound jumps and quickly blow right past 225 on towards 227.5 and beyond.
#4) Perform the exercise from a Dead Stop
Let’s use the bench press again as our example. If you’re stuck at 225lbs, one of the things you can do is train the movement from a dead stop.
Instead of starting the exercise at the top, you’d start the exercise from the bottom. For the bench press, this means working in a power rack and starting the exercise off the pins (set as close as possible to chest level) or working with two spotters who will lower the bar to your chest for you.
This removes the “rebound” effect and makes the exercise harder. You’ll have to start with a lighter weight at first but you will quickly adapt and when you return to the regular method of performing the exercise, you’ll blow right past your previous sticking point.
This method works well with bench press and squats.
#5) Focus on perfect form
You’d be surprised how much a minor form change can affect your strength. I’ve noticed that moving my hands an inch closer or further apart on the overhead press can make a huge difference.
Form tends to deteriorate over time. So if you’re hitting a sticking point in a certain exercise, make sure your form is spot on.
#6) Big Air
Here’s another simple way to smash through a sticking point: Make sure you take a HUUUGE gulp of air before you attempt the lift. Try and completely fill your chest with air. This increases stability and tightness. In my experience, this makes a massive difference in exercises like the overhead press, bench press, squats and deadlifts.
#7) Partial Reps
Performing partial reps with heavier weights can help you smash through sticking points with ease. Case in point: A while back I hit a sticking point with full squats at 305lbs. So I started doing partial reps with 365lbs for a few weeks. When I returned to regular squats, 305lbs felt easy and I blew past my previous sticking point.
Holds are a great way to strengthen muscle tendons and prepare the mind for heavier weights. To perform a hold, load the bar up with MORE than you plan to lift, unrack the bar and just hold it.
You don’t perform any reps, you just hold the weight in a supported position. So if you are trying to bench 225lbs, you might perform a hold with 275lbs.
Another way to prepare you mind and body for heavier weights is with singles. Let’s say your get stuck on the overhead press at 160lbs. You can get 4 reps, but are shooting for 5 and you’ve missed that 5th rep multiple times. Instead of going for 5 consecutive reps, do 5 singles with a heavier weight. You might overhead press 175 for one rep, but perform 5 sets with plenty of rest in between. When you return to 160lbs, you should be able to accomplish five consecutive reps with ease.
#10) Straps, wraps and belts.
While some view straps and wraps as “crutches”, when used properly they can valuable tools. I don’t typically use straps, wraps or a belt during my training sessions. But when I hit a sticking point, some loose wraps can boost confidence and allow me to shatter through old sticking points.
Case in point: A while back my squat was stuck (again.) Then I scraped up my legs pretty bad sliding into 2nd base during a ball game. My knees were a bloody mess. So when the next squat workout came around, I had to wrap my knees in ace bandages to avoid bleeding all over the gym.
Surprisingly, the ace bandages on my knees increased my confidence and I was able to smash through my previous sticking point. But here’s a key point: A few weeks later, I repeated the effort WITHOUT my knees wrapped.
#11) Keep at it.
Sometimes, you just have to keep at it and keep attacking the same weight. If your bench press is stuck at 275lbs for 4 reps and you can’t seem to get that 5th rep, stop trying for that 5th rep and just keep knocking out 4 reps with 275lbs. After a few weeks, you’ll find that you get the 5th rep with ease.
#12) Mega-dose Liver Tablets
Fitness legend Jack Lalanne would load up on Liver tablets whenever he attempted to break a record (like the time 1,039 push-ups in a row.) Usually, Lalanne would take 30 tablets a day. But when gearing up for a new personal record he was none to load up on liver tablets — to the tune of 200 per day.
To discover more benefits of liver tablets, check this out.
Next time you hit a sticking point in your training, try one or more of these sticking point solutions and smash your way to continued progress.
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