Why aren’t you seeing progress from your fitness program?
How can you overcome a fitness plateau and reach your fitness goals?
So you want to lose fat, gain muscle, and feel better right?
Overall, you're looking to be healthier, correct?
And maybe you recently started a Strength program, which is awesome, but you don’t see much progress.
Maybe you've been on a strength training journey for while and feel like you've plateaued.
Let’s talk about why you might be plateauing and not feeling the fitness results you should be experiencing.
(1) You're not giving it enough time
It can take 8 to 12 weeks to see/feel changes in your body. I get comments from people saying that they did a program for a month and why aren’t they seeing any results. One month is good, but it is not enough time. When you introduce fitness into your lifestyle or you start strength training your body will need to adjust. You will definitely experience muscle soreness because your body is figuring out how to handle the stress of exercise of that specific stressor (whatever exercise you’re doing like lunges or squats). Once the body figures out how to handle the stress then it will begin to build muscle. The best way to change your body’s shape is through strength training.
(2) You’re not eating enough
Food is fuel. Food is your friend. You need to be eating enough of a balanced diet so that your body can get the nutrients it needs to function well. You also need to eat to build muscle. In order to build muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus. If you’re looking to maintain the muscle you should be eating at maintenance. Eating enough also allows your body to repair and recover from a challenging workout.
(3) Your workout is too easy
If your workout feels easy and you’re sweating only a little then it’s probably time to change your workout. Your workout should challenge you. If it’s not, then you need to change it. Change the type of training you’re doing because if your body is used to the training you’re doing then you might plateau and see no progress. You can also change the weights you’re using. If you’re strength training, and I highly recommend you lift weights, then you should increase the weights you are lifting. If you lifted 3 kg then move to 5 kg. If you’ve been lifting 10 kg then try lifting 12 kgs. Gradually add more weight for that extra challenge and your body will respond well. This is called progressive overload training.
(4) You’re doing too much cardio
Cardio depletes your energy reservoirs in a way that does not build muscle. If you do a lot of running and cycling you’re not going to be able to lift weights at your maximum capacity. Essentially you’re sacrificing energy that could be spent on resistance training, which is the best way to build muscle for cardio activities that just aren't as effective at building muscle. The added benefit of having more lean muscle mass is that it allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. So even when you are sitting at your desk, or standing and not working out, you will be burning calories for up to 48 hours after your strength training. Cardio is important but you can get cardio from strength training and walking. The best combination for overall health and losing fat is a balanced blend of strength and cardio.
(5) You’re not sleeping enough
We need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. During sleep our brain cleans out toxins that have accumulated and also allows muscle repair. We need muscles to recover so that they can grow. If you are sleeping less than 7 hours, you are sleep deprived. Prioritize sleep because it is your ally. Sleeping an average of 8 hours is one of the best things you can do for your health and fitness. When you sleep enough you are more easily able to control your appetite and food intake. You will be more likely to resist sugar and refined carbs.
So those are the 5 things that you might need to change in order to see progress.
If you can think of anything else that helps you make improvements to your health then share it in the comments so another member of the community can benefit from your insights.
Thanks for joining me and I’ll see you in the next one. Ciao for now.