Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Have you stopped seeing progress?

So, you've been working out for a while. You saw some initial weight loss, but recently, it has slowed or stopped.

I think everyone goes through this at some point. I'm going through it right now. I lost all the pregnancy weight except for the last 10 pounds... and I've been stuck for about a month. I'll share at the end of the post the plan I'm working with to try to kick those last 10 to the curb...

This thing has not moved in weeks....

Where's the Progress?
When I say "progress", it could mean either weight loss or inches lost.

If you have stopped seeing weight-loss, you may have hit a plateau. A plateau usually occurs when your body gets used to what it's been doing. As much as I love Turbofire, if I did it everyday for 6 weeks, and nothing else, my results would slow down. However, if I am doing Turbofire and throw in a different workout on alternate days, my body won't be adapted to the program, and will keep changing.
Have you hit a plateau?

On the other hand, if my running seems stuck- I can't get past 2 miles, for example, maybe I am overtraining. Maybe I need a little crosstraining. Mix it up a bit...

Are you doing a lot of the same thing?

Are you a cardio junkie, doing running, turbofire, step, etc... but very little weight work?

I saw a big difference when I added strength work during a semester break one year. I had been doing primarily cardio all semester- I needed that endorphine high of cardio, and it was a busy semester, so it was hard to fit both cardio and weight work in, so I just did cardio. Over the holiday break, which was about a month, I started doing a moderately heavy total body strength workout 3 times a week. I did a little less cardio.

When I got back to school in January, everywhere I went, people were saying, "Did you lose weight?" I truly believe that shock to my system helped me see progress.

So, if you love the cardio (like I do. I love it), you may want to consider slowing things down with some heavy (or moderately heavy) weight training. Chalean Extreme or P90X is a good start- these programs have you lifting 3 days a week.

What about the eating part?
Another thing to think about is your diet. Do you follow your calories closely? Do you measure everything? EVERYTHING?
Ugh. I know, I hate it too. But, if you're not seeing results, this could be why.

What is my plan?
Well, I've been doing a lot of one thing: Running. It never really gets super easy, but I think my body is getting used to it. And... I'm doing it a lot. So, I wasn't really surprised when I stepped back and looked at my activity that I haven't seen much progress in the past month or so. Here's what a typical week looks like:

Monday: Run
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: Turbofire
Thursday: Kettlebells (maybe); Run
Friday: Turbofire
Saturday: Run

So, there's not a lot of resistance training going on. As I said before, I know for a fact the difference that strength training can make... so I'm going to add 2 days of a total body strength workout (such as Cathe's Power Hour, Jari Love Slim and Lean or Ripped and Chiseled, etc..)

The race is coming up in just over a month, but I can still keep my maintenance runs pretty short and down to 2-3 times a week (long runs on Saturdays), so this leaves me room for at least 2 days of strength training.

So, we'll see how it goes.

Have you ever gotten stuck at a weight-loss plateau?
What did you do to get out of it? Share with us....

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