Power through Your Plateau (Part 2)

Candice McField fitness modelNow that you have conducted your mini assessment, what was the result? If you discovered that you were fully committed to all areas mentioned in the previous article and still are not seeing results, then you have certainly plateaued.  Undoubtedly, this can be a highly frustrating and discouraging time, but do not fret.  Implementing some, or all of the following changes will help you power through your plateau.

  1. Adjust your caloric intake.  As your weight decreases, so does your caloric requirement.  If you are taking in the same amount of calories as you were when you initially began your quest to drop the pounds, then chances are it is time to reduce your calories.  Reevaluate your caloric requirements and adjust accordingly.
  2. Up your fitness game.  The body is an adapting machine and it learns quickly.  Incorporate some new exercises into your routine.  Challenge your body by performing moves you have not done before.  You may also want to consider increasing your resistance when strength training.  Strive to increase your resistance by 2-5 pounds every other week.  Also, consider switching up your cardio routine.  Incorporate a healthy mix of steady-state cardio (continuous effort at the same level of energy output) and HIIT cardio (high/low intensity
    intervals such as sprinting 30 seconds, followed by walking 60 seconds for 5-6 intervals).
  3. Regularly track your progress.  Maintain a nutrition and workout log.  Having a visual aid for reference better helps you identify when it is time to switch up your program.  Take front, back, and side photographs of yourself every two weeks.

Incorporate these changes and watch the magic happens.  Do not get discouraged.  You can do this!  Stay focused, trust the process, and remain consistent.  Recommit to your fitness goals and newly commit to the changes necessary to power through your plateau, and watch the magic happen!

 


Power through Your Plateau (Part I)

Candice McField fitness modelA few months have passed and you’ve settled into your exercise routine.  You are encouraged by the progress you have made and feel great.  Then, it happens – you hit a wall.  You’re doing everything right and still, nothing seems to be happening.

It is called a plateau.  Even the most experienced athletes have experienced it.  For many people seeking to lose weight and reach their ideal goal, this event marks a pivotal moment.  It marks the moment when you decide to both dig in your heels and keep moving forward or, you allow the temporary frustration of no progress to derail your efforts, completely.  There is hope; you can break through that wall.  In this two-part article, you will be able to identify your plateau type (there are two types).  Next week, we will look at what you can do to power through your specific plateau.

When your body becomes unresponsive to your nutrition and fitness program, you’ve hit a weight loss (or body) plateau.  Your body is a true work of art and has an incredible ability to adapt, relatively quickly, to change – for a time.

If you are pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion and muscle fatigue each training session but failing to gain the strength or increased size (if that is your goal) you desire, this would indicate a training plateau.

Take the next week to track your meals, your exercise, and your sleeping patterns.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have I been as consistent with my meals as I could have been?
  2. Am I exercising with maximum effort or have I become a little lax now that I have seen some progress?
  3. Am I allowing myself to get sufficient rest for my recovery?

If you are doing all of these things correctly, and consistently, odds are you have plateaued. Don’t quit!  Remain focused and learn how to power through the plateau in next week’s post.


Easing Back into Your Exercise Routine after a Long Break

You’ve been consistent throughout your exercise routine and have the progress to prove it.  Nutrition, exercise, and rest have all served you well.  Then, something happens that requires you to take time away from your  routine. Should you be worried that you missed a week?  Not at all.  However, if your week turned into one month or more, you should be aware that your performance level will be lowered.

Most people believe they can return to their regularly scheduled workouts as if they never missed a day.  This is not the case.  Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve fallen out of your routine, you definitely want to modify your activity to make it less rigorous when you pick up again.  Don’t expect to walk into the free weight area with the same strength you had over a month ago.

While this may be a little discouraging, there is good news.  The body is an amazing vessel.  While it will take you some time to return to the level of fitness you achieved before, you have the advantage of muscle memory.  That means the body remembers all those hours spent performing movements to build strength and endurance.  It gives you an advantage because it allows you to return to where you were fairly quickly (certainly more quickly than if you have never done anything at all).

Returning to your original Beast Mode requires you start slowly.  Opt for a lighter load the first two weeks, choosing resistance that challenges your current level.  Don’t get caught up in how much weight you were able to move before. Instead, view these first two weeks as a re introduction.  How quickly you respond is unique to you. The key is to start slowly, get over the two-week hurdle, and remain consistent; you’ll be back to your former fitness level before you know it.