Finding Joy In… Your Weight Loss Plateau

Happy Thursday!! Today was leg day for me and let me tell ya…. It was INTENSE. I mixed things up doing much heavier weight. It felt good and I definitely felt strong afterwards.

Todays leg workout:

-Barbell squats: 5×10 (HEAVY!) superset with 10 split leg lunges each leg.

-Leg press pulses: 10 wide stance, 10 close stance (NO STOPING)

– Single leg quad extensions (heavy) 8 reps, superset with medial glute cable kickbacks 10 each side. 4x

– Bike: 40 seconds,resistance set to 3 > 20 seconds ALL OUT FAST-resistance set to 20 repeat 5x

I died…..

Afterwards when I was in the women’s locker room I overheard a conversation between two women. I didn’t hear much other than one of the women complaining about how her weight loss has plateaued considerably.  GIRL I FEEL YOU!

Ugh! That’s the worst feeling! When you have been so successful in your weight loss and then for 2-3 weeks of continually kicking butt in the gym you start seeing little to zero results. It’s emotionally upsetting, it consumes your mind, and you start to lose all motivation you may have had. But fear not… For there is a way to overcome your weight loss plateau.

Plateaus are caused by stress. Any kind of stress. Too much, not enough, or too much of the same kind of stress.  When there is too much stress the body can enter a state of alarm instead of adaptation. It gets stuck in a “survival mode” of you will. When this happens all of the body’s resources go to keeping your body alive rather than adapting to your training plan.

The same goes for too little stress (seems like we can never win here lol). If your training plan is not hard enough to tell your body that what your doing is helping it, then your body wont see any need to adapt (lose body fat). I’ve had clients say things like “Well I go up the stairs at work instead of the elevator, shouldn’t that count for something?” Well taking the stairs IS healthier for you but it won’t even dent your weight loss because that’s not enough stress on your body physically.

Then there’s the case of “same ol same ol” A great example of this are the people who go jogging every morning for their exercise. Their bodies are so used to this same exercise that eventually it doesn’t even respond to it the same as it did when they first started. The minute they start adding weights and strength training their bodies will immediately start to show changes. This is the importance of mixing up our workout routine.

 

Here are 5 reasons why your weight loss has plateaued and how to fix it!

1. REST YO SELF!

I know this is easier said then done. But the more you workout the more rest your body needs. A common myth is “I have to workout 1-2 hours every day plus cardio to get results.” That is not true…… I repeat, That is not true”  When our bodies rest they recover. All the hard work you put in the gym comes to life when you rest. SO maybe you have been training like a crazy person and you are not seeing results. If your body is constantly trying to play catch up weight loss comes to a halt.

What to do: Take a week of rest and even up your calorie intake a  bit. (yes you heard me right.) When you give your body rest and consume a few (A FEW!!!!) more calories than you usually do, your body will thank you and be ready to go hard again the next week. You’ll start to see some results!

     2.  RELAX! Let the stress go!

You may think that your time at the gym is your “me time” to unwind and declutter your mind. However our bodies work in AMAZING ways (tell me there isn’t a God after reading this.)

Our bodies don’t understand that there are different kinds of stress. Our body just assumes that any stress is the same stress. So wether you are running from a cheetah, preparing for a huge job interview, or you’re at the gym doing barbell squats, your body registers it as STRESS.  So… what do our bodies do when there is TOO MUCH stress? It goes into survival mode. Meaning our bodies will hang on to body fat because it wants to protect the vital organs. (this also happens when you skip meals)

And people think we evolved from apes and that the world and all the people inside it happened in a big bang…..hahaha
THAT IS SOME COMPLEX SH** PEOPLE!! It takes a big creator to come up with the fact that our bodies even have a preprogramed survival mode that we don’t even have to think about turning on.

moving on….

So think about what stress is going on in your life OUTSIDE of the gym. When you can reduce stress in your life, the stress on your body that happens in the gym will benefit your weight loss.

#3. Don’t take so long between sets.

For those of you who don’t track your rest periods between sets start timing 1 minute between sets. Doing this will help you recognize how much time you may have been wasting in between sets.

If you DO track your rest between sets start lowering the rest by 10-15 seconds. So instead of 1 minute rest try 45 seconds.

Try these tactics for about a month you’ll see some results.

#4. Change the rhythm of your lifting!

If any of you have trained with me you’ll notice I count in a rhythm. (ex: “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and” ). If you just lift without tempo your muscles may not be getting the attention they need.

Try: lightening your weight and working on speed. Quick reps or pulses can train the nervous system to increase it’s output. This tactic is perfect for increasing strength. Do this for about a month and then go back to your regular training.

OR Try this: (my personal fav)

THE BELOVED SLOW NEGATIVES!! This is when you release the weight slowly for 4-5 seconds.(ex: Bicep curl- lift regularly and lower to the start position slowly by counting to 5)  So it causes your muscle to hold the weight for a longer time giving it that extra special isolation. Not only will these slow eccentrics help you out with bettering your form, they give your body means for muscle growth and it increases your strength.

 

#5. Change it up, buttercup!

If you have been going to spin class religiously for the last month, STOP. If you lift weights every day and never do an ounce of cardio, STOP. Change your workout up completely. Do something so different then your body is used to! Changing up your workout entirely will cause your body to use muscles and move in different ways it isn’t used to. Do this for a month and become pleasantly surprised.

 

 

Plateaus are a pain in the bum. But it’s a part of life. So take these 5 steps into play and see what works best for you!

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