CHANGE PARTNERS If you work with someone on a consistent basis, it's almost impossible not to fall into a rut. (Besides, "familiarity breeds contempt" as they say.) Give yourselves a break from each other -- no hard feelings of course. If you choose to either work with someone else or to work alone, don't do your regular workout. Let someone new dictate the pace or try that routine that you read about but your old partner wasn't interested in.
HAND OFFS Decide on only one bodypart to work, then choose one exercise.
Let's use the example of barbell curls again. After performing a warmup set, load up a barbell with a weight in which you and your partner will be able to perform about ten reps. After one person completes his set, it is handed to the other person without it ever touching the ground. Keep going back and forth among yourselves all the while attempting to complete 10 reps a set. Once ten reps cannot be completed, simply do as many as possible before handing the bar back to your partner. When neither one of you can no longer complete another rep...the workouts over! Short and sweet (well, short anyway).
WEIGHTLESS WORKOUTS All exercise has its benefits even though weight training is by far the most superior. Nevertheless, it wouldn't hurt if on occasion you gave yourself a break from the weights. Try stretching for an hour. It's harder than you think and helps keep muscles sinewy. Take a class in self defense. Juxtapose that with a yoga class. Remember, this is not meant to be a substitute, just a variation. When was the last time you posed for 20 minutes? How about an all ab workout? A few sessions like these will keep you in the proper frame of mind for training yet allow you to recoup from the usual grind.
PUNISH A NON-COOPERATIVE BODYPART Are your calves refusing to budge? Try this. Make every workout you do this week into a CALVE workout! Nothin' but calves! You may very well shock those puppies into new growth. Fun for the whole family! Don't worry about overtraining. The rest of your body will be getting plenty of rest (you may be walking a little funny for a while, though.) Take a complete week off before working calves again so they have time to respond to the inflicted torture.
CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT This can be as simple as going to the gym at a different time. Not only will your body have to adjust to being taxed at a different part of the day, but chances are you'll see a different group of people who have yet to see you. This can be just the stimulus for a quality workout. If you train at home, it's still a good idea to occasionally splurge for a one day visit at a local gym. Seeing other people train provides inspiration as well as a perspective of your own progress. You may also pick up a few pointers along the way.
Plateauing may be inevitable but it doesn't have to be a negative experience. "Necessity is the mother of invention," so in an effort to overcome a sticking point you may very
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