Afro hair + Beauty + Fashion + Fitness

Jul 15, 2017

How to get (booty) gains after a gym- plateau


This post is aimed specifically at people who have been going gym for a while and feel like their muscle gains or just strength increase have become stagnant. If you are just starting out at the gym, all of these points will still be applicable and would also work as good starter advice. I am writing from my own experience and things I try to keep in mind in order to keep me motivated to go gym, increase and push harder. As my gym goals are currently focused on lower body- I am focusing on Booty gains, however these tips would be applicable to other types of gains too.

 Set goals

Setting goals will give you direction, keep you motivated and driven as you are working towards something. Think of a mixture of long term goals like; become more healthy, increase stamina and lose or gain weight as well as shorter more specific goals to keep you motivated, like; train x amount per week, do two leg days per week, do abs every other day, squat 50 kg by August. When setting goals it's important to be realistic and not setting yourself up for failure. If you currently go gym once or twice per week, don't get carried away and set a goal of gymming four to five times per week. Instead, set a goal of two or three. As this goal is easier to achieve, chances are that you do achieve it- and the sense of accomplishment when doing so will encourage you to carry on and do better. If you always set goals that are too ambitious, you could end up failing- which will just make you feel discouraged. Writing down your goals is important, there is something about taking the time to write down your goals and then being able to either tick a box/circle or cross them out once you achieved them! 

 Track and write down gym routines 

This is one of the more recent things I have started to do. When I was gymming on and off years ago I used to write down all my gym sessions in an app, it was tedious and didn't allow full control over how and what I wrote as it had to be typed into the app. I then tried just writing down work outs casually in my notes, something I also got tired of eventually. So this time around I spent some time thinking about what would be the best way to write down my routines. At first I was thinking note book, but the OCD in me did not like that. I wanted something more organised so I went for a day planner. There's a whole page for you to write your exercise and it's easy to go back and see the exact date of the work out. This also allows space to add comments. I add comments like "increased" or "gave good glute-burn" or anything else that's notable. If your memory is bad like mine, or you are forgetful, make sure you write down the exact routine and weights used in your phone while at the gym so that you can transfer this information into your day planner afterwards. This has helped me a lot- I can go back and look at specific comments about work outs and analyse what made a work out more or less effective. I am trying to increase weights for a few exercises, so I can go back and see how long have I been doing a specific weight or how long did I do the previous weight before increasing. 

 New gym clothes/equipment

  Get some new gym wear as motivation. How you want to do this is entirely up to you. I am sure that you have heard the advice that new gym clothes will motivate you to go gym. This is especially common with people who are just starting out, they feel motivated, buy a ton of gym clothes and think that alone will keep them motivated enough to consistently go to the gym. If this works for you, please do it this way! However, my tip is to set specific goals (as mentioned above) and then gift yourself once a goal is reached. If you're goal is to squat 100kg, note down the treat you will give yourself once you achieve this. Now you can squat heavier and you can keep increasing while looking good in your new gym gear. Brands like Fabletics offer gym wear that works well but is also stylish, which will have you feeling and looking great in the gym!

Switch up your routine

By switch up your routine I don't necessarily mean the usual "change up your exercises" (although this could be beneficial too). I am referring to changing up your reps and sets or even the way you train. Although I have been training for a few years consistently, I am not a PT or a professional so I will not list specific set and reps combos, however I will say play about with pyramid sets, drop sets, super sets and tri sets. Explanations and examples of these can be found on most bodybuilding websites. You can also try out different forms of exercises (I am personally Not good at this). If you always train at the gym, try doing classes or working out outdoors or even playing a sport.

Don't blindly trust Instagram

Now don't get me wrong, there is plenty of good advice and serious trainers on Instagram and other online platforms. However, there are a lot of people who don't necessarily know what they're are doing, but they are still giving advice. This is not a dig at them and it also isn't to say don't take their advice- but just take everything you see online with a grain of salt as there are so many different opinions and advice out there that it can get overwhelming. You can of course browse Instagram for new exercises but make sure that you double check everything you see with trustworthy sources.


Since tracking my routines and regularly increasing weights I have definitely seen some gains, but I am always looking to improve my routines in order to achieve even better results and of course, enjoy my training even more. In the past, I would do 3 gym days per week. Most would agree this is too much, so I changed to 2 days per week. This has worked fine, but with 2 days a week (not on set days) there is a possibility that one week you might do Monday and Thursday one week, and then next week you could technically do Thursday and Sunday- leaving a whole week between two leg days. This definitely will not help your gains as your training is not very regular. Therefor I have this week switched my leg day routine up to every 3 days. Every three days technically is 3 days a week (some weeks, if you are doing Monday, Thursday, Sunday) but the following week it would be Wednesday and Saturday which is 2 days in one week. I would definitely recommend planning your leg days this way as you're training consistently which in turn will help you increase weights consistently.

What do you do when your training hits a plateau?
Have you tried any of these tips?

xx


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