Strength training programs require constant adjustment throughout the year or you risk hitting plateaus. If you're new to strength training, a plateau usually arrives after about six months of training.

During the first months of training chances are you will likely make some dramatic strength gains. Soon, however, these gains begin to level off.

To continue making gains, you need to vary your training techniques and understand basic training principles. Try the following techniques to break out of your plateau.

Increase Training Intensity:
One of the quickest ways to break out of your plateau is by making your muscles work harder, rather than longer. Even slight increases in weight and intensity can make a difference.

Vary Your Exercises:
Varying your equipment and your exercises will work your muscles iin new ways and help you develop new skills. If you always use machines, try free weights or a medicine ball for a change. If you use the bench press for chest, start doing pushups instead. T

New training techniques require you to use your muscles in a slightly different way and allow over-used muscles a chance to rest. It also keeps your program interesting and stimulates a different pattern of motor unit recruitment.

Change the Order:
Another way to break out of a plateau is to change the sequence of exercises you normally do. When muscles get fatigued in a different order they tend to adapt in a different way, allowing a variation in muscle strength gains.

Remove Some Exercises and Add Others:
There may be some exercises in your routine that you've outgrown. Look at your routine critically for unnecessary or redundant exercises.

You might consider scheduling a session or two with a qualified personal trainer who can provide you with recommendations for adding or removing exercises in your routine.

Get Adequate Rest:
If you train too hard for too long, you will undoubtedly hit a plateau. It's also likely that you will develop an injury. Adequate rest and recovery is an essential element in continuing to make progress in your training program. There may even be times during the year that you should reduce your strength training altogether.

Eat Wisely:
Proper nutrition will help your muscles rebuild as well as fuel your workouts. Skipping meals, or eating the wrong foods, especially at the wrong times will hinder your workouts.

Author's Bio: 

NATIONALLY CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER/HEALTH NUTRITIONIST & FACILITY OWNER - Certified Personal Trainer and Health Nutritionist with over 20 years of physical fitness experience. Facility owner/co-founder of Personal Best Fitness, a professional personal training and Pilates facility.

HEATH ADVISOR, WELLNESS & LIFESTYLE CONSULTANT - Lecturer, advisor, motivational speaker and health consultant. Creator of interactive, web-based exercise and lifestyle video and audio programming.