Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Avoiding Plateaus in Muscle Growth
"I'm a hardgainer, and I've been looking for the most effective program for my body type. I found your pyramid program, but it seems like it would pretty easy to plateau. What should I do to avoid this?"
My Answer: I was pretty clear about how to avoid plateaus in the Q & A section of the free PDF Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph. If you haven't received the PDF, then you can receive it once you subscribe to email updates for Strength and Physique.
With regards to training plateaus, the bottom line is that ALL programs will lead to a plateau. People try to avoid plateaus by engaging in "muscle confusion," where you purposely switch things up. By the way, the concept of muscle confusion was not invented by the creators of P90X, nor was it invented by Joe Weider. The concept has been around for a very long time, before any of us were born.
Now switching from program to program every so often is a good idea, but haphazardly switching programs just for the sake of switching doesn't always equate to progress. You're really just spinning your wheels. It's like going from job to job, but it's always an entry level position.
You have to know how to switch things up. Neo-Classical Bodybuilding reviews how to sequence and switch up training programs. The book outlines how to train hard for 2-3 weeks (density) and how to pull back for a few weeks (decompression).
So if you're trying to figure out how to sequence programs (other than the ones found in Neo-Classical Bodybuilding), you can still follow the precepts outlined in the book. If you've been doing a program where you were busting your ass and training hard, then your next program needs to be simple and less intense. If you were training in a lackadaisical manner, then your next program should be one where you step it up a notch.