Avoid the PLATEAU: Burn More Fat During Exercise!

Do you ever feel like you're busting your butt in the gym, eating correctly, and it's not paying off?

Don't get discouraged, because this happens to the best of us. It's called a PLATEAU. 

This generally occurs after a few months on the same exercise routine. In the beginning your body responds to your routine with lost pounds and gained muscle tone, then all of a sudden everything just... stops.

When this happens, we become frustrated and often times can give up. Why do plateaus happen? How can we stop it from occurring?

First things first, you must know that your muscles adapt quickly to anything routine. Your body is like a computer. You have to reprogram it after a while. You can't keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. 

Your body is bored, and it's time to do something different. 

The problem: Your muscles have adapted to your routine. The Solution: Apply muscle confusion.

Muscle confusion is a way to keep your body guessing by changing your routine.

Here are four awesome tips to help keep your body going and the results consistent! 

Tip #1: Use a Drop Set

Drop sets are often used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for increasing muscle strength, endurance and for adding to the cardiovascular benefit of your workout – which results in more fat burn.

This is how to do a drop set: When you perform an exercise to exhaustion, don’t stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set.

You could take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set. Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise.

Tip #2: Focus on Negatives

Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are using three types of strength.

  • Positive strength: lifting the weight.
  • Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.
  • Negative strength: lowering the weight.

Most people completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. It is understood that the negative portion of each repetition is just as important as the positive portion, possibly more important.

Focus on the negative portion of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each repetition count.

If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.

Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.

Tip #3: Use Active Rest

Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don’t waste precious minutes with long rest periods.

While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest. Do one of the following activities for 30 seconds between exercises and turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.

  • High Knees with Alternating Punches: Alternately bring each knee high to your chest in a quick jumping movement while alternating forward punches at shoulder level.
  • Burpees: Start in a sanding position and bend at the waist. Once your hands hit the floor, push your entire body back, extending your legs until they’re straight and you’re in the push-up position. Go down for a push-up, and when you push yourself up, jump slightly to bring your feet back near your hands. Finally, jump in the air with your arms fully extended over your head.
  • Side-to-Side Jumps on Bench: Stand on one side of an exercise bench. Place the foot closest up onto the bench, jump up and switch feet, then land on the opposite side of the bench.
  • Mountain Climbers: Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.
  • Side-to-Side Ab Twists: With feet close together, jump and twist your legs left to right – holding your abs tight. Keep a bend in your knees and swing your upper arms with each twist.
  • Jump Lunges with Pop Squat: Start in a lunge position, lunge down then quickly jump up, switching your leg position in midair, land in an opposite leg lunge. Once you’ve done both legs, jump straight into a squat.
  • Medicine Ball Squat Jumps: With feet wider than shoulder-width apart hold a medicine ball at chest level. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Explosively jump up, raising the medicine ball straight over your head.

Tip #4: Modify the Exercise There are certain exercises that are considered ‘staples’ in the gym.

The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. You get the idea…

While you shouldn’t throw these exercises out the window, find creative ways to modify the familiar motion in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:

  • Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board
  • Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges
  • Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench
  • Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses
  • Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls

Following the above along with eating right, is the true definition and formula for BODIED!

 

Inspiration

Self love isn't selfish! Always love yourself! Put yourself first! 

Remember there is no one else on this earth that can write your life story. I want you to start today by focusing on being better than the individual you were yesterday!

I want you to put all of your goals on paper, and I want you to live as if your life depends solely on your goals! 

Every morning when you awake, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror. I want you stare at yourself! Why? Because you’re your most reliable source of inspiration, dedication, determination, and motivation. Take what you see and run with it. Be the best version of you! Starting today . . . 

Help Me, I'm Gaining Weight!

"Help me, I'm gaining weight!" 

If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me . . . . I'd be passing out dollars!

The irony of the saying is that I actually encourage people to say it to me. It's my job to help those who need help when it comes to weight-loss! Besides, I know exactly how discouraging it is to see those numbers on the scale climb. I know how discouraging it is to notice the change in our clothes. I know how it is to be in denial about it all. Why? Because I've been there!

But, my job and passion lies within helping you get rid of the weight and keeping it off!

When I meet new clients, I quickly learn that most of them were either 1.) previously fit, 2.) former athletes, 3.) always smaller in size, and 4.) never fathomed the thought of ever gaining weight! It comes as a complete shocker to them, when they have to hire a trainer for the first time.

But it's okay, because that's what trainers are here for.

The big question that so many ask me is HOW DID I GAIN ALL OF THIS WEIGHT?

From studying the lifestyles of my clients, I have learned that nine times out of ten, the answer is one of the following:

  • College
  • Pregnancy
  • Relationship/Marriage
  • Career Change

Often times, individuals get comfortable in their lifestyles and the weight creeps up on them! But the key to avoiding this from happening is to adapt a new and healthy lifestyle to make the change that you wish to see! If you are looking to adapt a new lifestyle today, contact me. I'd love to be your trainer and personal health coach!