Preventing the New Years Plateau

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We are now headed into the fourth week after your New Years resolution! If you are frustrated and can’t understand why you have not made a dent into that goal you set, have no fear you are not alone! Many people, when looking for a transformation turn to cardio elliptical or treadmill! 

Although a good start, cardio is the easiest thing for the body to get used to, thus creating a faster plateau. Doing the same thing over and over, for the same amount of time and same intensity will not yield the results  you desire. You must look at an exercise plan as an experiment with the progressive variables, time, intensity, and duration! These variables have to change periodically to create an environment for the body to adapt. I am not talking about muscle confusion, where you throw a bunch of non-energy specific movements and set schemes at a wall to see what sticks. This experiment has to be systematic and methodical with the philosophy of consistency. Because the variables listed above are measured, it will become evident that their manipulation will produce the desired results.

 Here are some tips that every exercise plan should have:

  • A good exercise plan should include some kind of baseline measurements. These measurements will help you see improvement even if the scale doesn’t move.
  • A good exercise plan should involve some kind of strength training. It is proven that strength training or high intensity interval training will burn more calories in one hour then an hour on the elliptical or treadmill.
  • A good exercise program should include some kind of flexibility program. As you get stronger your muscle fibers will generate more force, thus as your progressively get stronger you should aim to progressively become more flexible and limber to relieve stress on joints and or weaker muscles groups in the bodies kinetic  chain.
  • A good exercise program should have an equally matched nutritional program. This nutritional program should have a balance of carbs, proteins and essential fats. Low-carb diets will create a false scale victory, because without the presence of carbs the body turns to the catabolism of muscle fiber for fuel. As you all know muscle weighs more than fat. So when body starts breaking apart protein in the muscle for energy the appearance of weight loss is more magnified! But the reality is, you are just losing muscle mass and the fat tissue is sticking around. 

So for a quick recap. A good exercise plan should have a good mix of strength training, flexibility, and a great balanced diet to prevent a plateau effect! In the fourth week you should start seeing tangible results! Good luck on your journey!

Yours in Health!

Ivan Ankwatsa MS. USAW Exercise & Sports Specialist
Ivan Ankwatsa MS. USAW
Exercise & Sports Specialist
Pryde Athletics

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