By Eric Martinez
March. 5. 2011-
Ever hit a Plateau during your workout routines? For those who do not know what a Plateau is, in weight training terms, it is basically a level where you can’t make anymore progression: gains in muscle, losing weight, getting stronger, pretty much your body is telling you it’s time to change it up. Almost inevitably, at one point or another, those of us seeking body change and fat loss have reached a plateau with our results that we have a difficult time budging out of. This usually leads to frustration, possibly use of performance enhancing drugs, or just plain old quitting the gym because you can’t figure out why your body won’t change and you bust your ass day in and day out. You can’t let this discourage you, I know from experience how frustrating it can get, but there’s always ways around things and different solutions. So, without further ado, here are my top 10 tips to consider if you hit a plateau.
- Water: Adequate hydration is crucial for fat loss, but there are different amounts for different goals. Ideally you want to stay hydrated all throughout the day, especially when your working out. Make sure to drink enough to make your urine a very pale, clear yellow color.
- De-loading? De-loading is when you do your same sets and reps at 60-70% instead of all out 100%. For 1-2 weeks rather than continuing going all out on your routines. This is a great way to give your muscles, joints, ligaments, nervous system, and brain a rest. By doing this, your body will feel much fresher and at times stronger when you return to your normal lifting.
- Enough Real Foods? Sometimes, utilizing too many meal replacements such as protein bars and protein shakes can be bad, meal replacements often have hidden sugar alcohols that can become an issue for many people and slow down our progress. Real nutrient dense food is always the best way to go. Many of us lack eating lean meats, veggies, and whole grain products.
- Enough Fiber? Fiber has many prolific health benefits, reducing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight maintenance, and regular laxation. Fiber also will keep your energy levels up while working out. Too much fiber can lead to side effects so be careful.
- Enough Sleep? Sleep is prime-time for fat burning and making significant gains, acting as a hormonal stress button. Make sleep a priority; with out a good 6-8 hours of quality sleep, your progress will suffer.
- Wrong foods for you? Some foods like: Dairy, fruit, nuts, gluten containing grains or sugar alcohols can be a problem for you, especially if over consumed. It’s very vital that you pay attention to certain foods to see if they are benefiting you or not. Many people can be allergic or have digestive problems with these foods and not even know it.
- Do High Intense Interval Traning 2 times a week: This is the famous “HIIT Cardio”, which is more effective at boosting your fat metabolism over a longer duration of time rather than regular cardio. This is the most effective fat burning cardio today; all you need is 20-30 min max, make sure to do one day on and one day off for best results.
- Too much Alcohol? I know many of us like to drink from time to time. Others like to drink more frequently. If an excess consumption of alcohol occurs, this could turn off fat burning systems at the level of the liver, and can be easily over done. Also the cute tasty mixed cocktail drinks have endless amounts of sugars in them, that’s why they taste so good people. So monitor your alcohol consumption, because this could very well be a reason why you can’t shed fat off.
- Keep nutrition clean 90% of the time: And 10% of the time, indulge in the foods you love or miss, know ones perfect here. I call them cheat meals; don’t be afraid to eat 1 or 2 a week. These cheat meals help reset key regulatory hormones to ignite a sluggish metabolism. Also it’s a great way to keep you psychologically intact with what you are trying to accomplish. Everyone needs a cheat meal here and there.
- Monitor yourself precisely: What I mean by this is to write down your week by week progress. How you feel, workout journal to track your set and reps, body measurements, pictures, weighing yourself while fasted every Monday morning, body fat percentages, ect. This will only benefit you in the long run.
“Live a Dynamic Lifestyle”