Five Plateau Breaking Exercises

Five Plateau Breaking Exercises

The five exercises that’ll help break plateaus and mix up your training routine.

Having a plan in the weight room is a must to achieve your goals. Everybody knows that. But even the best routines can get stale. Yeah I said it… Even JSHEZ can occasionally get sick of repping out bench press reps on Monday’s with an ungodly amount of weight. So what do you do? You mix things up. Whether looking for a new addition to your bench press workout, or a lift to light your arms on fire, these 5 exercises may be just what you need to mix things up and take your strength to the next level.

Dumbbell Chest Press Lying On Floor:
This leaves really no room for cheating. No bouncing a barbell off your chest, no pushing off with your heels. Nope, just you, the dumbbells, and the floor. Now that’s raw. If this is your first time and you’re a guy who benches say, 80lb dumbbells for 10-12 reps, I’d drop down to the 60-65 lb range. Perform it like a regular dumbbell chest press on a bench, knowing of course that you won’t be able to take your arms past parallel to the floor. Don’t bounce your arms off the floor, and focus on doing these reps in a controlled fashion. The range of motion may seem limited, but trust me the pump is anything but, as you’ll feel a tight contraction in your pecs like none other.

Dumbbell Split Squats (Foot Up On Bench):
This isn’t as much about the weight as it is the isolated motion you may not be used to. I love getting 3 bills on the squat rack just as much as the next guy, but there’s always time for that. That power rack ain’t going nowhere. For now, grab some dumbbells, say 30’s, and place the top of one of one foot on a flat bench. Squat with the other leg so that your hamstring is about parallel with the ground before returning to the starting position. It may take some time to get your balance on the first go-round but don’t worry, going back to 2 leg squats will seem like cake after this.

Decline Chest Flys:
You’re probably thinking, “Shez, are you nuts?” Yeah maybe a little, but that’s not the point. Grab a decline bench, some dumbbells, and let’s get it. Once again, you may have to drop a bit in weight as the decline will place added pressure on your shoulders… but get it done. Perform this the same way you would an incline chest fly, bending slighting at the elbows, bringing the weights to parallel, and squeezing your upper chest together at the top. And remember the goal here is to grow and progress, not to worry about numbers. Let’s leave that to the accountants.

Hammer Curls Across Your Body:
When doing these think about concentration curls, with the difference being you’re standing up with your palms facing your body instead of the ceiling. These will hit some of the same muscles in your forearms as regular hammer curls do, but will also get that bicep brachialis looking enormous. Don’t swing the weight or bring your shoulder into the exercise. Keep it controlled and by the third set your pipes will tell you, and everyone around you, what time it is.

Close Grip Decline Barbell Press:
Pipes still pumped with blood, and some solid supps you got off 1R waiting post-lift, it’s time to finish up with triceps. Close grip flat bench really blasts the tris, but add a decline to it and now you’re really getting after it. Perform these as you’d usually perform close grip on a flat bench with your hand 10-12 inches apart, except now you’re on a decline. Sometimes I rep all the way up and down. Other times I keep the range of motion a little shorter and really contract those tris. Trial and error Fellas. Whatever gets ya going is cool in my book.

Variety is the name of the game. Not only will it keep your muscles guessing, but it’ll keep you mentally fresh as well. Change things up from time to time with these five exercises (staying in that 3-4 set, 10-12 rep range), and thank me later for the impact they have on your iron game. Now stop reading, and get after it!

And 1R, if you're looking to ensure you retain your hard earned lean muscle mass gained from JSHEZ's five exercise suggestions, we at OneResult recommend the following supplements:

  1. Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery - The carbs and protein will help you recover and build lean muscle faster after tough workouts
  2. BSN True Mass - A post workout recovery product with 6 different protein sources will ensure that you’re maximizing your workouts
  3. Optimum Nutrition Glyco-Maize - The cleanest carbs around, the Waxy Maize Starch replenished glycogen stores after workouts
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About the Author

Jake Scieszka, SHEZ if you will, is a regular contributor to OneResult.com and is a certified trainer at Equinox’s flagship location in New York. He is certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and played junior hockey in Binghamton, NY before getting his bachelor’s degree from NYU.