It’s easy to jump up in weight on compound exercises in the beginning. However, eventually you’ll reach a point where slapping on another 45 lb. plate — or 35 or 25, 20, 15, even 5! — is out of the question.
Progressive overload is the order of the day. Your next workout need only be slightly more difficult than your last one. So… microload. Find the lightest plate in your gym (typically a 2 1/2 lb plate) and use that. Next workout, use a 5 lb plate. Next, use the 5 and the 2 1/2. Get it?
There are washers at your local hardware store that weigh about a pound. You can buy a pack of them cheaply and use these as part of your progressive overload approach.
Slow and steady wins the race. Increasing the load by large chunks can lead to crappy form and compensations in your movement patterns, both of which can lead to injury. So do a little more each workout and microload as needed to keep seeing results!