Plateaus are a strange phenomenon, they seem to strike at the most unfortunate times, like right after a bad ass personal record or when your progress feels like an unstoppable train.. only to be led straight off of a cliff.. Anyway, I have put a lot of thought into plateaus and I do believe that they are not so difficult to avoid.
I think plateaus are the body’s way of expressing a tissue imbalance. Usually when I test a lift that I feel has plateaued I feel weak, tired and unmotivated. Then I try another lift which stresses different muscles and I`m all gung ho again and ready to have at er. For example recently the deadlift has felt exactly that, a dead fucken lift. However, I tried doing front squats shortly after and found that I was progressing quite fast. My thoughts are that my hamstrings were overdeveloped compared to my quadriceps and the imbalance manifested itself by halting progress in the deadlift, a posterior chain dominant exercise. I think that by listening closely to what your body is telling you through biofeedback, plateaus can be completely avoided and perpetual progress in fitness will be yours. Biofeedback is a whole nother post though.. or maybe more. We`ll see.
Anyway, The next time your strength training is sidelined by a plateau, take it as a sign that you should try something else.