We’ve all experienced dreaded fitness plateaus at one time or another. Things can be going along great, your body can be adapting to your workouts, and you can be hitting PRs left and right when suddenly, your progress stagnates.
Whether you’re a CrossFitter, weight lifter, runner, cyclist, triathlete or an average gym-goer, it’s always frustrating when your workouts stop producing the results you’re searching for.
Luckily, there’s no need to completely change your fitness routine or goals to break through your plateaus. Making a few simple tweaks can help you build the strength or endurance you need where you need it most, and get the gainz flowing.
Check out our tips to overcome some of the most common training issues by adding in just one piece of equipment to your routine.
Problem: You’re hitting weight plateaus on your lifts and no matter what you do, you can’t lift more.
Solution: Strengthen Your Core
Equipment to Try: TRX
Competitive weightlifters know core strength is kind of everything. According to this article on Core Training: Evidence Translating to Better Performance and Injury Prevention published by Stuart McGill, PhD an expert on spine mechanics and kinesiology out of the University of Waterloo in the Strength and Conditioning Journal
“By stiffening the torso, power generated at the hips is transmitted more effectively by the core.”
In a 2014 study conducted by a robust research team and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that pressing exercises done using TRX straps recruited more core muscles than other versions of the exercise and had the greatest impact on core activation.
TRX markets themselves as an effective full-body workout, but in my experience with taking a class and using the equipment as part of my weekly workout routine, these straps are a core killer, and amazing for building core strength and spine stability.
For weightlifters, this translates directly into heavier lifts.
Moves to Add:
Beginners should try incorporating a TRX Plank for three rounds of 45 seconds to one minute holds two to three times per week into your workout. This can be done on the front and the side to maximize muscle recruitment.
Intermediate exercisers can add some movement to the plank, either on their elbows or hands, by doing scissors or mountain climbers while holding their core stable. This should be done in 3 or more rounds of longer rep sequences of 10-25 reps.
Advanced exercisers can come up onto their hands and incorporate crunching and piking movements. These should also be done in longer rep sequences, or could be done as part of a combination of movements For example, do 20-second plank hold, 10 scissors, 10 mountain climbers, 10 pikes and rest.