T Nation

Strength Plateau


I've read that muscles get used to a workout in about six weeks. My question is when you do a split that you alternate exercises for a particular muscle group from day to day do your muscles still get used to the same routine does this keep it from happening? Or does it just delay the amount of time that it takes for a strength plateau to happen?



switching exercises because of strength plateau is like finishing your math homework by masturbating.

do exercises you enjoy. do them often and take time off when you're sick of them.


I don't change up my routines much at all. Not only that, but changing up exercises every time you lift would make it near impossible to track progress. Everyone is not the same and if you are increasing the weight used as well as increasing your form and function regularly, "plateauing" shouldn't be happening to you that much to warrant changing that often for no reason.

You shouldn't even approach this as if you are expecting a plateau to occur. I have gone years doing the same routine, making progress, without changing a thing but the weight used.

I think beginners can benefit from trying different training routines if for no other reason than to allow you to find what works best for you. I have never agreed with changing the entire routine every few weeks to avoid an unknown plateau that hasn't occured.

Not only that, but if your gains stop, why move to changing your routine around before paying attention to your food intake and making adjustments there first?


Well put prof. Just for the record. I'm not changing for that reason, but it was just a thought that I had. The reason I changed was because fall semester is coming quickly and with all my studying and homework I find it hard to put an hour a day aside to lift and still be a productive student.

Well I was reading in October 2003 M&F and it suggested a 3-day full body split routine. You work the entire body in one day and you do this three times a week. Each day with different exercises. I'm only in my first week of this routine and so far I really enjoy it. I haven't notice any gains in strength or performance, but it's only my first week. However instead of lifting because I know it's my day to be in the gym and wanting to keep my schedule, I absolutely can't wait for my lift days.

The other thing I really like about this routine is before if I had too much to do in a week and needed to skip a day I would find myself skipping legs, and shoulders workouts because I just don't enjoy working those muscle groups as much as others. With this routine it's all rolled into one.

Proffessor is this different from what you were talking about switching exercises and think it will be an effective routine or do you think it will be in effective? I know a lot of how a routine works for someone is a personal thing, but I'm asking for a educated, experienced opinion.



Any program that fits well into your schedule and allows you to challenge yourself is worthy of trying. I personally don't get much from attempting full body workouts. It isn't enough to stimulate indivdual muscle groups effectively and would seem to largely benefit those who are beginners better than someone who has been lifting for a while. Shorter more frequent workouts make more sense anyway than longer infrequent workouts. But then, I have never had a problem with wanting to lift weights.