When you begin a resistance program from an untrained starting point, your body responds quickly resulting in noticeable gains. In order to see long-termg gains, however, it is necessary to alter your training so the body continues to adapt to changes in stimuli. This is known as progressive training. Progressive training becomes more difficult over time, as the phenomenon of diminishing return takes effect. There are three main principles to follow to maximize gains over the long haul.
One: Progressive overload: a gradual increase or a decrease of stress place upon the muscles either through increased weight, reps, and sets or a decrease in rest intervals and/or an alteration in exercise velocity.
Two: Periodization: within the context of progressive overload, it is optimal to fluctuate weight load and repetition volume. This is known as periodization.
Three: Specificity: greater gains occur if we force a large variety of muscle actions to occur. This, in turn, taxes different energy systems.
Following these principles of exercise progression will assist in limiting performance plateaus.