It's pretty normal to plateau when you are trying to lose weight. It's usually the point people either give up or start to really mess up their health!
I speak to people on opposite ends of the spectrum. Those that massively overtrain or those that don't train at all! For most people I see, they live in the world of extremes. If something is good for you, then do lots of it! Doing too much of anything is never going to illicit a long term positive effect! In the same way that doing nothing and eating lots of processed food is not going to make you healthier, stressing your body through overtraining and under eating will also have a negative effect!
The shock when I programme only three days of resistance training a week for some individuals is palpable. The belief in extremes being the best way to drop weight quickly has been ingrained into everyone's mind as the most effective way to lose weight, when in fact the opposite is often the case!
If you are already training and looking to improve your results then do this today:
✔ Programme your training to get the most out of every rep and set to save you time and unnecessary extra sessions in the gym. Sometimes it could be a case of learning proper execution from a real coach that can assess your biomechanics and get the most out of you from the equipment available! Taking one rep or one set further than you've ever done before can impact your body more than counting reps and finishing your set before you've even come close to your potential!
✔ Spend time trying to work out which exercises work best for you and stop Wasting your valuable time performing exercises that just don't fit your body! Maximise what you can do! I witness people in the gym trying to deadlift or squat, not really working much of the muscle they intend to work and often risking injury. If you could find an exercise you can really lock into and focus entirely on contracting the intended muscle, your overall output and ability to grow a muscle will be much better!
✔ Stop training 6 times a week. Condense it to 3/4 sessions and use the extra time to prepare food, have down time with the family or de-stress! You are constantly under stress from work, family and your lifestyle, these factors are known as allostatic load, adding more stress to your body through training is a recipe for disaster! Training with focus on pushing your body with each rep of every set in three sessions wkll ensure you don't need to waste time or energy in the gym!
✔ Figure out ways to optimise recovery. Improving sleep is the best way to do this, you won't know how well you sleep until you track it! Use apps like Sleep Cycle yo understand how much deep sleep you are getting and work on methods to improve it! The restorative effects of quality sleep is incomparable to any other factor you can optimise, so get this right and your weight loss journey will get a lot easier!
✔ Don't overlook nutrition. You can out do a bad diet, yes you read that, it's completely possible. But it's very hard and will put your body under much more strain that necessary. Follow the basics of nutrition, work out how.much protein it takes to maintain your lean body mass, eat lots of vegetables and a few fruits, consume a range of healthy fats, then add in carbohydrates to fuel your training and recovery!
Plateaus should be considered on an individual basis. Its not always wise to think doing more will get you more, sometimes regressing for a period of time can be even more beneficial. When I assess a clients progress, it is not limited to their weight alone. I always use other biofeedback tools to get a clear picture of the actions that need to be taken to create the perfect environment for someone to not only lose weight, but feel better and perform optimally every day!
Read Indy's story on how we broke plateaus and allowed him to get a six pack, improve his confidence and change his outlook on like, click here.