You are here:

Weightlifting & Exercise/breaking plateaus and supersets



I've been weight lifting in my basement since about January. I change up my routine every few weeks by doing different exercises, or what days I work what muscles. I have seen some results, but now I feel like I've hit a plateau. To break through that, I've started doing a couple new things: I started doing a routine where I'll do pull exercises 2 days a week, and push exercises 2 days a week, and one day of lower body. Is that ok to do?
And I tried doing supersets. For example, I did one set of DB flyes at 7 reps, then went right into one set of DB bench press, but was only able to do 2 reps. Is that normal, or should I have been able to do more than 2? What do you think is the best way(s) to break plateaus?

Thank you

Hi Mike,

So I don't know much about your back ground or what your fitness goals are so I am going to go with some assumptions here. When you say plateaus, do you mean in size, strength or perhaps both? First off you are doing the right thing by breaking up what you do every few weeks or so as you always need to be creating muscle confusion to stop you muscles to adapting to routines. Its great to do pull exercises one day and push the next if you are not going to do a total body workout each time, as you need to give the muscles worked 48 hours or so to heal so you can grow and make the strength gains you want. I question what is happening with only being able to bang out 2 dumbbell presses after the set of fly's however. No that is not normal, but was it muscle exhaustion and just a one time occurrence or is it a frequent event? If you were just wiped and out of energy try going down in weight or take a quick breather so you can do a full set. Perhaps this was a first time event after having changed up your routine, if so try again and see where you are at. The best way to break plateaus is by doing what you are doing, it really comes down to trial and error so don't beat your self up over one time of hitting the wall and only getting out two reps. Make sure to eat a good amount of carbs before working out also, proper nourishment is huge and plays a big role in making the gains you want. I would also recommend throwing in some periods of slow activity mixed with say sprinting on a treadmill or bike and then slowing down, then another burst for 2 minutes or so. Do this a couple times a week and your body will be like "whoa what as that?" Lastly do some lower weight exercises and do them very, very slowly. Like if you lift weight at say a 2 second to lower and 2 second to raise count. Try a lower weight that takes 10 seconds to lower and 10 seconds to raise. I guarantee you will feel this and I am sure it will probably shock your body in to getting you over that plateau.
Well Mike I truly hope this helps you out, keep playing with it and you should be fine. If you need anything else hit me up and we will adjust from there. Good luck and keep training hard.


Weightlifting & Exercise

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Greg Hoppe


I can answer questions on proper exercise technique, starting as well as growing in attaining your fitness goals and questions regrading how the human body works from an exercise physiology standpoint. I can assist with any questions regarding anatomy & physiology, stretching and rehabilitation. I am also extremely well versed and experienced in martial arts, self-defense and massage therapy.


I have a B.S in Physical Education and a Black Belt in an eclectic martial art. I am also a certified Fitness Therapist through ISSA and a massage therapist. I can assist with questions regarding hiring a health and wellness professional as well as growing and succeeding in the field for those already working in it.

ISSA, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

B.S. in Physical education, Black Belt, ISSA certfified Fitness Therapist.

©2016 All rights reserved.