PostHeaderIcon Plateauing

I mention plateaus a lot in my intense classes such as interval challenge and body blast because most of the people who take those classes are looking to change their bodies.  In order to change your body, you must do things that the body is not used to.  The body will make adjustments such as fat loss and muscle gain in order to adapt to the new stressor.

Usually, when people work very hard to lose weight, their body changes.  They also become fitter which is a positive thing as fit people have less incidences of heart disease, diabetes and joint pain.  The downside is, their body has now adapted to the new stressor and they have to shock themselves again in order to make more changes.  Once your body adapts to your fitness regimen, it starts burning less calories.  Also, if you lost weight, you are burning less calories on a daily basis because you have less to carry around.  So now you have to lift more weights or do more intense cardio or take on a completely different fitness regimen in order shock your body into changing again.

When I lost my baby fat (the fat I gained after having a baby) I had a bad back so I started by doing the elliptical or the vertical climber at the gym.  I also did my own physical therapy for strengthening.  I lost some weight and strengthened my back but after that, my body got used to what I was doing.  I started running and weight lifting and that worked really really well. However, my body started getting used to running and I stopped losing weight, so I started swimming laps, did up hill lunges and more free weights and I lost the remaining weight.  It sounds like a lot but I had to keep doing something hard or something I wasn’t used to  in order to burn the same amount of calories I did when I first started because my body had gotten used to the old stuff.  This is why I never do the same thing in a fitness class when I know the same people have been coming to the class for so long.  At some point, I know that my students will get used to the  moves.  Also, I do encourage those of you who do want to change your body to grab heavier or more difficult equipment, gradually as you get used to the moves.  Working hard is tough so if it is your choice to just stay healthy, then I advise you just do what is fun for you.  You don’t have to lose weight when you work out but if you don’t exercise, you might gradually gain weight as you get older.  Also, regular exercise promotes emotional, physical and mental health.  It is the magic pill that we all search for.  Keep in mind that you must increase intensity very gradually and take time to recover by taking days off if you choose to go on a very intense program.

For a list of exercises that can help you break a plateau, check out this post:

By Rhea Morales

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