Muscle Growth Has Stopped! I Want My Pump Back! What to do?

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Without a doubt, this is possibly the most frustrating thing that will happen to all of us muscle heads.

  1. The first few months of working out = explosive growth
  2. The next few months after that = maintenance
  3. Then… muscle growth comes to a halt

This has happened to me a few times, and when I look in the mirror, it simply makes me want to cry :'( . Sometimes it may even be worse and muscles might even shrink. The worse thing about this is that I have seen guys who’ve trained three days a week and never noticed that they’ve had five months of no progress whatsoever!

But not to worry, you are on and when you are, you can expect to find a solution to your problem. The main problem here is that you would have overworked your muscles for this to have happened, but here’s what you can do to fix it.

Alternate exercises

I’ve talked about this endlessly throughout various previous posts. Over working any muscle group will actually make them sore, and can cause them to shrink. But the good thing about this plateau that you hit is that it will be short lived, and the slowdown in progress will likely show up in one or two exercises out of an entire workout, giving you time to act. The key thing here is to make adjustments in your training before full-blown stagnation sets in.

Doing to many standing tricep pull downs? Switch it up and focus on bench dips. An even better thing to do may be to leave that muscle group alone for a few days.

Take time off

When you are ‘In the zone’ when working out, this may seem like a painful thing to do, and your reaction would be something like,

‘WHAT! Stop working out? I’m going to shrink dammit’.

Yes you will shrink… if you carry on working out that is. By simply not lifting weights for a few weeks, you allow your body to fully recover… and add new muscle growth that you’ve already stimulated, so you can return to the gym and resume training effectively.

72 hour breaks instead of 48-hour breaks

When you first begin to workout, you will probably be working out 3-4 times a week, and right fully so, as you will be in the early stages of building up muscle mass. But as you begin to grow and become stronger, your workouts will need to be spaced further apart. This is essential for further muscle growth to occur and it will prevent you from falling into the same trap again.

Do heavy leg training

By far, the best exercise you can do to increase your body’s anabolic activity is heavy leg presses. Surprised I didn’t say squats? Squats are a great all-around exercise but they are limited by how much weight you can comfortably support on your shoulders. Many people I work with do 3,000-pound leg presses. Accounting for the 45-degree angle of most leg presses, that’s equivalent to a 2,100-pound squat, something that not many people do!

The legs contain the largest muscles in the human body and when those muscles are forced to operate at the limits of their capacity, the systemic anabolic effect spills into every muscle group in the body. And now to surprise you

Heavy leg training gives you bigger arms!

Might seem strange, but is very true.

The next time you hit a plateau and your muscles stop growing, follow these tips and you will be back on track to putting on those much wanted gains.

See you in the comments

Incoming search terms:

Copy the code below to your web site.
Wine of the Month clubs

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!