Sticking Point: A stalling of bodybuilding progress. Also
that point in a movement at which you fail to continue the upward
momentum of the bar.
Getting Passed a Sticking Point
There are many excellent techniques available to get passed a
sticking point. It may take longer to get past a sticking point
than it would to make conventional gains in muscle mass and
strength, but that is normal. Sticking points normally represent a
lack of balance that is fully possible to correct if given the
proper time and effort. Some examples of ways to get over sticking
points are shown below, and expanded upon further in the
- Vary your Exercise
- Vary your Training
- Do Partial
- Vary Number of
- Vary Number of
- Vary Rest Between
- Vary Rep
- Emphasis on Negative or
Positive Motion of Repetion
- Apply a shocking principle.
- Ensure Proper
- Take a Break From
Techniques Explored in Depth
Now we will examine each of the techniques above in greater depth.
You may need to experiment with each one of the techniques
individually before you get passed your sticking point, but be
patient! It will happen with enough time and effort.
Vary your Exercise Program
Everything in weight training has the potential to become stale if
you do it enough without experimenting with other techniques. For
example, the barbell bench press is one of the most highly praised
exercises for chest around, but even that can get stale if it is
all you ever do. If you have the same exercises week after week
your body will get accustomed to doing them, and when you hit a
plateau, it will be hard to get passed it, and sticking points will
remain. As a piece of advice, change up your exercise program, and
see if it helps in the weeks to follow.
Vary your Training Split
Even if you are excellent at surprising your body with high levels
of intensity, your muscles can still get used to doing the same
exercises in the same order on the same days of the week, week
after week. That said, shake things up a little by changing the
order that you perform exercises within a workout, or the days in
which you work on specific muscle groups. As an example, if you are
used to performing chest exercises on Friday starting off with
bench presses, change it so you start off with dumbbell presses or
change it so that you perform chest day on Thursday. This will
throw your muscles off guard a bit and might help them to new
Do Partial Reps
Now the question is - what part in the range of motion are you
experiencing a sticking point? For example, on the bench press, do
you find that you can't lift the barbell at the beginning? Or is it
the upper third of the range of motion, or maybe the middle? In all
of these cases, you can practice specifically within the range of
motion you are experiencing the sticking point. For example, if the
top third is the part where you are experiencing difficulty,
perform reps just in that range of motion to strengthen the muscle
fibers necessary to get passed that sticking point.
Vary Number of Reps / Sets
By varying the number of reps or sets you perform, you can give
your body a surprise and this can easily translate into getting
passed a sticking point depending on how you respond to it. Like
any other shock techniques, this has its value, so don't ignore it
if you are having trouble getting through a sticking point and want
to get over it.
Vary Rest Between Sets / Rep Speed
The problem with your workouts may lie in volume - you may be
doing too little or too much for your body type. That said, if you
take more or less time between each set and change the speed in
which you perform the set, your body may react positively too it by
breaking through sticking stubborn sticking points which had
previously been a problem.
Emphasis on Negative or Positive Motion of Repetion
The more specific you break the rep down into, the more likely you
are to discover exactly what is causing you to lag behind and
experience a sticking point. By performing exercises focussing only
on the positive or negative range of motion, you can identify if
you are lagging in either area, and at the same time, strengthen
either or both ranges.
Apply a shocking
It is always a good idea to shock your muscles every now and then.
As a tip - do not overuse shocking principles, because your body
will grow just fine off conventional training. Every now and then,
shocking principles may be exactly what you need to get past a
plateau or a sticking point in training.
Ensure Proper Nutrition
Perhaps your workouts are not the cause of the problem at all! It
is totally possible that what is causing your sticking point(s) is
simply lack of proper nutrition. That
said, be sure you are getting enough overall calories, correct
breakdown of micronutrients and enough water to perform your
workouts succesfully. For more information, click HERE to determine your basal metabolic rate.
Take a Break From Training
Sometimes, it may not be your training that is the problem at all,
but rather your overtraining. A
week off training every now and then may be exactly what your body
needs to reach new peaks in both strength and mass, and of course,
help you get over your sticking point(s).
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate
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