Feel like you’ve hit a training plateau at the boxing gym? Here’s why you aren’t seeing those #strengthgains.
If you’re being honest with yourself, you can tell there’s something wrong with your strength training. You’re not getting stronger because of five things; maybe more, but essentially your workout routine is suffering from:
- A lack of intensity,
- Poor nutrition,
- Inadequate rest
It could be one or more or even all of these reasons that prevents your strength training from yielding results. Fortunately, each of these problems can be easily tackled to get you back on track.
Lack of Intensity
Intensity is loosely defined as the weight lifted in relation to your one-rep max. To gain strength, you need to get as close to your maximum load as possible. Sticking to a few sets of high rep exercises simply cannot place enough stress on the muscles to get stronger.
What this means is you should work yourself out of breath every time you are pumping iron. The final reps of your exercises should challenge your body to bring every muscle fiber to work. If that takes more than 10 reps, then you’re probably not using the right amount of weight.
Crank up those weights
It is very easy to fall into the trap of lifting lighter weights for the sake of proper form. However, excellent form, without adequate muscle stress does not translate to strength gains. It is when you lift weights as close as possible to your one-rep max that you can have a truly intense workout that forces your muscles to grow.
As your muscles adapt to stress, you will need to increase the weight. It’s hard work, but prevents your workouts from getting too easy can you continue to rack up strength gains.
You’re Just Not Consistent
Inconsistency in your boxing gym sessions ruins your proficiency in exercise and belittles any strength gains you are trying to accumulate. Working out every single day is not necessary, but you need to have a weekly routine.
How often you go to the gym depends on your schedule and fitness level, but if you are working out less than three times a week, you’ll be hard pressed to see any muscle growth. Getting stronger requires discipline, which means being ready to pump iron every week at a consistent rate, whether or not you feel like it.
Times of recovery & times of stress
Consistent weekly workouts aren’t the only way to accumulate strength gains. You also need consistent times for muscle recovery.
Daily high-intensity workouts are unhealthy, and do not help your strength goals much. Keeping your muscles under constant stress leaves no recovery time and this constant stress prevents your muscles from consolidating any gains you have made.
Another factor that can improve the quality of your gym sessions is keeping to a specific time of day for your workouts. You may manage to show up at the boxing gym often, but if those routines are at different times each day, you may not see the desired outcomes. The body adapts well to consistent times of stress, and working out at a consistent time each day can help improve your strength and progress.
Your Workouts Are Too Repetitive
Consistency is definitely a good thing, but excess regularity with your strength training exercises will lead to diminishing returns in the absence of variation. Eventually, you will see no more strength gains from your workout routine, and at that point, you’re only burning calories.
The human body adapts to exercise. It’s called accommodation. Muscles cease to be stressed by strength exercises that used to work. You may consider it a welcome development that your body can ‘take’ heavy training loads much better, but it also means your muscles need new stimulus.
You can provide this stimulus by switching up your strength training for other programmes such as muscle hypertrophy every four to six months. In the short term, you should try to vary the speed, weights and number of reps you perform every day.
Periodisation is a technique whereby you vary your training to prevent stagnation in your training. You constantly switch between bodybuilding and strength training every few weeks, maxing out the benefits of both training regimens.
If you prefer to add even more variety, you can take exercises from either program and mix them up so that you do something different each day at the gym. This is known as non-linear periodisation, and it ensures that you get a full body workout every week.
You Don’t Eat Enough
One thing newbie strength trainers don’t seem to realize is that a caloric surplus is important to maximize the gains from working out. If you don’t have the right fuel, the muscle building engine won’t run at all, and your strength gains will be minimal.
So the role of nutrition in health and fitness must not be undermined if you want to get stronger. Not eating enough can also directly impact your mentality and performance, especially in the boxing gym. A slight increase in caloric intake easily cures this. However, you may also need to pay attention to your diet.
Carbs for endurance, protein for muscle
Well-balanced diets contain ample carbs, proteins and fat. For muscle growth, protein is key. The nutrients a protein-packed meal delivers to the body are just what it needs to initiate the synthesis and repair of muscles to make you stronger.
Besides building muscle, adequate protein in your meals can also increase satiety, or make you feel fuller. This way, you avoid hunger pangs during the day, and this makes it much easier to abstain from those not-so-healthy snacks.
In the course of a workout, your body relies on simple carbohydrates for sustenance, and to prevent fatigue. Easily digested carbs can be obtained from pretzels, cereals, energy bars and sports drinks. They make great pre-workout snacks, but after a workout, a protein meal is best.
You Don’t Get Enough Rest
Recovery is just as important as consistency in a workout. Strength and muscle gains typically aggregate during sleep, when your muscles are in recovery. If you’re not getting enough rest, you are throwing away a critical chance to let those gains from your workout accumulate.
Pumping iron with less than seven hours of shut-eye means you’re working out with insufficient energy, poor form and suboptimal hormone levels. Unsurprisingly, this increases your risk of injury.
Take a day off for active rest
As mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t be doing high-intensity strength training everyday. However, this does not mean you should spend a day of the week just lounging on your couch. Active rest days are more beneficial for your muscles.
During rest days, micro tears formed in your muscle from strenuous gym sessions start to heal. This muscle repair is enhanced by light activity such as hiking, cycling, brisk walks or yoga. These activities provide extra circulation of blood and nutrients through your muscles, which helps them accrue gains from your strength training regimen.
Strength training Near You
Overcoming plateaus in your training is much easier with a trusted program and an experienced instructor. If you live near Delray Beach, Florida, you have easy access to this high quality strength training.
At Delray Beach Boxing Club, we guide you through a strength and muscle building regimen tailored to teach you how to box like a pro. Sign up today to start.