Women’s Plateau Buster


Description

The 8-week Women’s Plateau Buster weight training program is designed to:

  • Train all of your major muscle groups
  • Build muscle/curves in the 9–11 and 6–8 rep ranges
  • Strengthen your core and primal movement patterns
  • Introduce you to the pre-exhaustion intensity training protocol
  • Help you to break out of plateaus and keep making progress

The program consists of three workouts (A, B, and C). Workout A will train your back, biceps, core, and inner and outer thighs; Workout B will train your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core; and Workout C will train your legs, glutes, and core.

In weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7, you will train in the 9–11 rep range; in weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8, you will train in the 6–8 rep range.

The exercises in each workout have been arranged in accordance with the pre-exhaustion protocol, which will ensure that your prime mover muscles are partially exhausted by isolation exercises before you move on to the major compound exercises. The pre-exhaustion is intended to boost muscular overload and amplify the stimulus for development, thus increasing the program’s chances of helping you to ‘bust’ through plateaus and never stop making progress. You can also use the program as an additional and advanced MCFF mesocycle (‘MCFF 6’).

Please read the Overview of women’s weight training programs before you start this program.

Suitability

Instructions

  • Complete the workouts (A, B, and C) in the order presented
  • The recommend workout schedules are ABCX (i.e. three days on, one day off) or ABCXABX (i.e. three days on, one day off, two days on, one day off, and then continue the sequence from where you left off)
  • Perform the exercises in the order presented
  • Rest for 30 to 90 seconds between sets
  • Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between exercises
  • Always use a weight that is heavy enough to make the reps challenging
  • Whenever you have to increase the weight, add a maximum of 5 lb (or 2.5 kg) to upper-body exercises or 10 lb (or 5 kg) to lower-body exercises
  • Try to master the proper form of each exercise, including proper breathing technique. Also, try to develop a mental connection with your muscles and with the movement patterns
  • If you get bored of an exercise, see the Overview of women’s weight training programs for alternatives
  • If training at home in the absence of cable machines and other specialized equipment, see below the exercise tables for exercise alternatives
  • Don’t forget to warm up before, and stretch after, each workout
  • Once you have completed the Women’s Plateau Buster, you must take a deload week. Only then can you repeat the program or one of the other programs
Workout A (Back, biceps, core, inner and outer thighs)
ExerciseSets x Reps
Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8
Cable straight-arm pull-down2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Pull-up2 x 6–82 x 9–11
Seated cable row2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Overhead cable curl2 x 9–112 x 6–8
EZ bar curl2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Wheel rollout3 x 10–153 x 15–20
Hanging straight leg and hip raise2 x 10–152 x 15–20
Cable hip abduction2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Cable hip adduction2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Workout B (Chest, shoulders, triceps, core)
ExerciseSets x Reps
Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8
Dumbbell fly2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Push-up (on knees if necessary)2 x 10–152 x 15–20
Alternating dumbbell front raise2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Seated dumbbell overhead press2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Reverse dumbbell fly2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Cable face pull2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Dumbbell kickback2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Diamond push-up (on knees if necessary)2 x 10–152 x 15–20
Bicycle crunch3 x 20–253 x 25–30
Lying side hip raise2 x 20–252 x 25–30
Workout C (Legs, glutes, core)
ExerciseSets x Reps
Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8
Barbell hip thrust2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Dumbbell forward-leaning lunge2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Barbell sumo squat3 x 9–113 x 6–8
Seated or lying leg curl2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Twisting hyperextension holding plate against chest2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Barbell Romanian deadlift2 x 9–112 x 6–8
Machine seated calf raise2 x 15–202 x 10–15
Machine standing calf raise3 x 15–203 x 10–15
Weighted captain’s chair leg and hip raise2 x 9–112 x 6–8

Alternatives for the cable/machine exercises