Are you experiencing a sticking point in your training?
There’s a way to POWER through that weight you’ve been stuck on for weeks (months?).
Firstly, plateaus should be very rare on THT if you’re doing it by the book. THT is effectively an anti-plateau program.
But also, make sure it’s not a “plafaux” first – read this article.
Now if you are SURE that you are really stuck on a certain weight, I want you to do 2 things:
- Reduce the rep range
- Make tiny increases in the load week on week
Bear in mind that working in a lower rep range means that you must increase the weight.
I’ll explain this best by way of example.
Let’s say a guy is stuck at 100kg for 10 reps on the bench press. He wants to hit 12 reps before he increases the load. However, he’s been on 100kg for 10 weeks straight now. Dude’s getting proper frustrated. Grrrrr!
What he needs to do now is work in a lower rep range, say 4-6 or 6-8 reps to failure. Whatever he feels most comfortable with.
Doing less reps per set means he’ll be able to move more weight. But how much more?
Use the THT rep range calculator to find out.
By using the calculator he sees that he should be able to lift 110kg for 4-6 reps. That’s an increase of 10kg or 22lbs.
On his next chest workout he hits 110kg for 5 reps.
Unlike traditional THT training, he doesn’t need to wait until he hits the upper range of that rep range before increasing the weight (6 reps). He’ll go ahead and increase the load next workout by the smallest increment possible.
This is where micro or fractional weights come in handy.
Each week (or every other day on the THT HIT cycle) he adds another tiny micro weight.
Each workout he gets 5 reps.
After 3 or 4 weeks he’s benching about 113kg for 5 reps.
He then switches back to his old plateau weight of 100kg.
Happily, 100kg now feels like child’s play. He’ll probably get more than his goal 12 reps on his first try.
Now he’s in a position to keep progressing onward and upward unencumbered by plateaus.
So the steps are:
Work in a lower rep range
Use the THT calculator to get your new weight for this rep range
Increase the load fractionally each and every workout
TIP: If you have no access to micro weights, you can put anything light enough on the bar. You might even tie a towel or 2 around the bar. Use whatever you can. Just don’t use your shorts or they’ll kick you out of the gym. Plus you’ll stink the bar up 😉
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So, we only switch to 4-6 rep range temporary, and for that specific exercise that we’re having problem with, and the rest body parts we still do in 8-12 rep range, or any other that we started with ? 🙂 nice tips btw, as always 🙂
If I am already following a 4-6 rep range and come across a plateau then what should I do ? As always, thank you so much for sharing the tips free.
I’ve been alternating each week that way with TSPA.
one week for strength 4-6 reps
next week for size 8-12 reps
Sounds like a good idea. I like what John A. Davis wrote. Would that be o.k. Mark? Not all the time, but once in a while take a ten week cycle an alternate every other week 4-6 reps/8-12 reps. Just to switch it up once in a while. Thanks Mark!!
I think the current buzzword is “periodization”.
The proponents suggest Mon Wed for strength, Fri for size.
If going for size, then Mon Wed for size, Fri for strength.
I just alternate between weeks, making a very broad interpretation of the theory.
A good place to get 1.25 pound standard plates:
I have a theory that if you plateau on a certain lift maybe that particular muscle needs to have a longer recovery. For example.. I’m stuck on 45lbs for 11 reps on shoulder press, was like this for over a month, tried going heavier and doing a pump set also tried the 1rep max protocol, the weight didn’t move, so I decided to not train that particular lift for 2 weeks, when I started again I started at a much lighter weight to get my form correct, after a couple of weeks I got back to the 45lbs weight and nailed out 15 reps. Then again, i tried this with another lift and the 4-6 rep range worked well, All depends on whats causing the plateau. what say you guys?
JaSoN, yes it makes sense. I might ‘guess’ the lighter weight had a bigger positive effect then the 2 weeks rest. I’ve often been told that if you hit a plateau then lower the weight. Either the weight is slightly too high and form is compromised slightly, hindering correct muscle development and/or secondary smaller muscle groups are not been exhausted enough, again due to form and weight excess. Very similar to this article, I’m stuck on 95kg bench press for 11 reps. Been doing 11reps for too long. So I’m going to switch to higher weight (100-105kg) and 6-8 reps next week. But I will stick with it for a whole cycle probably (10 weeks), in line with THT approach.