Stalling on an exercise is something that's going to happen as you just can't continue to increase the amount of weight lifted forever. Your goal is to prevent stalling for as long as possible.
You must make sure you have everything optimized within your plan. This includes a diet packed with plenty of nutritious foods. For example, don't waste your calories on a food with empty calories. Instead, use those calories for a food packed full of nutrients.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. Make sure you are doing everything you can each day to reduce the stress in your life. Make sure you are measuring results and recording all the right data. Simply put… make sure you are following the WLC System guidelines.
If you are following WLC System guidelines and continue to stall on an exercise, there are several things you can do to get the weight moving again.
1) Start using fractional plates to increase the weight. Maybe you just took too large of a jump in weight. Instead of increasing the weight by 5 pounds, a 2 pound increase would have allowed you to continue making progress for a longer period of time. Large weight jumps can lead to stalling sooner.
Only jump by large amounts if you know you can do the weight easily and the program is designed for those types of jumps in weight. If you are making your way into new personal records, keep the weight increases from workout to workout as small as you can. Usually, just a few pounds will work great.
This advice trumps the guidelines for increasing the weight with each program. If the program tells you to increase weight by 2.5% but you struggled the previous workout even though you achieved all reps, take this advice and only increase the weight by a small amount.
Pay attention to each set and the difficulty level in achieving the reps for that particular set. Adjust your weight increases accordingly. Always use smaller weight increases if you are in a calorie deficit.
2) Add a rest day here and there if you think you are stalling due to cumulative fatigue. If you feel worn down, add a few extra rest days. You can get right back where you left off very soon. The few extra days of rest here and there throughout a workout program will lead to more progress and less stalling.
If you don't need any extra rest days and you always feel great, that's even better. Don't take the extra days if you don't need them. If you feel like you need them, though, do yourself a big favor and take the extra rest days. This can prevent stalling instantly.
You'll hit the gym feeling refreshed and ready to do battle after a few days of extra rest. A good time to take this extra rest is to skip a Friday workout and rest Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then do your Friday workout on Monday and continue the program from there.
3) Decrease the weight and continue increasing the weight each week after that until you have surpassed your previous best.
If you haven't been able to increase the weight or increase the number of reps with the same weight for several consecutive workouts, it's time to reset the exercise.
There are an unlimited number of ways to reset an exercise.
You can choose to decrease the weight by any percentage that you like. You can decrease the weight by a large amount and then work your way back up with a certain weight increase. You can take a few workouts to get back to where you were when you stalled or you can take several workout to work your way back up.
Your goal of resetting an exercise, though, is to surpass the weight you were lifting when you stalled.
For example, you might stall on squats right at 300 pounds for 4 reps. You take a few extra days of rest and are already following all WLC System guidelines perfectly. You haven't increased weight or reps for 3 workouts and are still stuck at 300 pounds for 4 reps.
You choose to reset the exercise by decreasing the weight by 30% or 90 pounds, and you do the next workoutwith 210 pounds for 5 reps. You decide to increase the weight each workout by 30 pounds until you get back to 300 pounds. It takes you 4 workouts to get back to 300 pounds and you easily do 5 reps this time around.
For the fifth workout, you decide to use fractional plates and only increase the weight by 2 pounds. You do 302 pounds and get 5 reps easily once again.
This is how stalling and resetting will work for you with our workout programs. There are so many way to reset an exercise. I usually recommend decreasing weight by 10% and increasing weight 2.5% each workout.
It takes you 4 workouts to get back to where you were, but you should be able to surpass your previous best the next time around.
4) Change the exercise completely. If you've been using a certain exercise for several months and you just can't seem to increase to a new personal record no matter what you try, it's time to change the exercise completely.
When you change to an exercise that carries over well to the original exercise, you can work on getting extremely strong on this new exercise. When you come back to the original exercise, you will be much stronger on that exercise and surpass any previous records.
For example, you are stuck at 300 pounds on your low bar squat. No matter what you try, you haven't been able to make any progress on your low bar squat for a while now. You've tried resetting several times.
You decide that it's time to change exercises and you change the exercise to the box squat. You start out light and work on gradually increasing the weight on the box squat. You get really strong on the box squat and eventually go back to the low bar squat once your box squat stalls.
You easily surpass your previous best on the low bar squat. Changing exercises works great but only do so as a last resort. You must focus on getting as strong as you possibly can on a given exercise. Once you truly stall and nothing else seems to work, it's time to change exercises.