Fitness

Preventing a Plateau

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Have you ever started a new workout routine or diet, and noticed almost instantaneous results? The feeling is incredible, it shows that you are making progress, and you feel the need to consistently become stronger or loss more weight. This feeling becomes addictive. However, as you continue these routines, your body adjusts to these new changes and the results start to slow down. After a while, the results seem to slow down to a crawl, and you may even notice that your progresses begins to regress. This is referred to as a plateau.

Definition:

A body plateau is when your bodies results begin to slow with your current fitness or diet routine. Once your body is not yielding the same results, this usually indicates that you have reached a plateau. Plateaus are the results of your body’s impressive ability to adjust to change. As your body mass begins to decline so too does your metabolic rate, meaning that it becomes more difficult to lose weight and gain muscle.

Tips for Preventing Weight Loss Plateau:

  • Account for Weight Loss - as you progress with your goals and begin losing weight, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to continue to lose weight at the same rate. It’s significantly easier to lose weight when your 300 lbs versus when you are 200 lbs. Account for these differences, and you will have to make changes in order to see the same results, whether that be eating less calories or doing more cardio to put yourself further into caloric deficit.

  • Be Patient - sometimes all that's needed to break a plateau is patience, have faith that what you doing is working. Keep working hard, and stay in a caloric deficit, statistically your body will go back into a weight-loss cycle.

  • Look at the bigger picture - don’t just look at the day to day results, your bodies weight can fluctuate multiple pounds day-to-day depending on many things such as digestion and sodium levels. Look at weight loss over weekly periods or even monthly periods, it'll show the bigger picture, and you'll be able to see your true results properly

Tips for Preventing Muscle Gain Plateaus

  • Switch up Routine - as you gain muscle and increase strength your body becomes accustomed to how you move and the workouts you do. Your body naturally builds muscle in a certain way to combat the workouts you're doing. By changing the routine you “confuse” the muscles in your body, causing them to tear quicker and bigger, which means when they recover, they are built bigger. This can be as easy as switching from an isolation workout to a “Push/Pull/Legs” workout or an “Upper/Lower” workout routine.

  • Change the number of repetitions - if you have hit a minor plateau you can often push through it by changing the number of repetitions while sticking to the same workout routine. By increasing the number of repetitions you are “confusing” your muscles, as they have become accustomed to a specific workout, by changing this up it can cause your muscles to tear even more. Resulting in muscle gain and strength increases.

Jeffron de Savoye, CNP