It will happen – at some point during your bodybuilding ‘career’ shall we say, you will hit plateaus, and some are easier to beat than others. Usually a lack of food is to blame and one can often simply eat more calories per day and get right back on track making more strength and size gains. Other times it’s not so easy.
The average beginner will see amazing gains of strength and size week by week – the scale will shoot up and the tape measure will keep expanding as you break through your early and ‘easy’ gains – then progress will begin to diminish rapidly. It’s not hard to see why at this point many give up and throw in the towel. Don’t let this be you as I shall explain.
After the first 4 months of bodybuilding is commonly the time when you will reach a so-called plateau but this isn’t necessarily a genetic plateau – which most won’t experience for at least 3 years and far down the road and past the point most ever wish to take bodybuilding. The hardest battle is overcoming the many plateaus before you reach any so-called genetic weight lifting one.
If you find your progress begins to halt and you’re not a few years in then I suggest you change things around – using different tempos, sets and rep schemes and tweaking your diet. I often find by switching exercises every 4 weeks (using the dumbbell bench press to replace a barbell bench press) and using varying tempo during the lifts begins to bring one out of plateaus.
You may notice I scoff at the word genetics – this is because it’s often bounded around as an excuse for why a trainee isn’t growing fast enough or why they don’t keep growing. There are many natural bodybuilders who are still making gains 10 years down the line, albeit very slow ones. Eat and train right and you shouldn’t have to worry about any genetic plateau and you will keep on growing year on year.