This is more of a personal reflective post rather than informative, so bear with me. In any fitness journey you will experience plateaus. That’s expected. But that doesn’t make them any easier when you hit those bumps in the road! I am currently trying to bust through a frustrating plateau with my upper body.
I naturally struggle with gaining strength and mass in my upper body, but have no trouble doing both in lower. I feel like I have been painfully struggling to move up in weight for various exercises for months. I have slowly progressed in being able to do more reps and more sets in a weight, then moving up, but it truly takes forever. I struggle to be able to do 4×10 of a wide grip seated cable row with 70lbs, but yet I can easily pump out 4×12 leg press with 300lbs and even pump out some extra reps on 340lbs afterwards. It can be a really frustrating feeling! Knowing where you want to go and where you want to be, giving it everything you have and barely making any progress. Grr!
So, in an attempt to power through this frustrating plateau, I increased the number of times I hit upper body in a week from 2x to 3x. This means that my cardio only day has now added upper body. Instead of hitting all areas of upper body each and every time, I am splitting it up. One day hitting back and biceps, another hitting chest and triceps, and the third day I am hitting shoulders. I am adding in various new exercises as well. I am hoping that this will really help me improve in strength, and I wouldn’t complain if I gained some mass too. :)
My biggest weak spot is by far my back. I’ve always had back issues, over the years it has been a really big problem for me. I used to wake up with back pain, and go to bed with back pain. So I’m genuinely not surprised that this is my weakest muscle group. But that doesn’t mean it always has to be! It is taking a lot of work but I am determined to improve!
Overall, this is the first time I have really hit a plateau. I am refusing to let it get me down, and instead using this as an opportunity to face this challenge head on and push through it to improve. (It of course had me frustrated and a little irritated the other week when I just couldn’t seem to make any headway, but we all have those moments. It’s what you choose to do with it that makes the difference!) I choose to power through!