How many times have you started a diet or new workout regime- that DID work initially, but then plateaued, and perhaps you even gained some weight back? And how many times did you meet this problem with the answer that it “must be me”, “I didn’t go hard enough”, “I wasn’t consistent enough”, etc? So you increase the intensity and frequency- only to get a negative response- like injury or weight gain? Then blame yourself again- for something that MUST have been lacking in YOU?
STOP IT. No really… Stop the thing that is not working. It seems so simple- and really… it is.
When I first started dieting and “working out” (long steady state cardio, like running and biking)- I dropped weight dramatically and fairly quickly at first. After about a month or so- the weight loss started to slow- and eventually stall completely. So I ran longer. I tried (Ha!) to run faster, and more often. It didn’t work- as a matter of fact, the scale started to creep back up! My hard work was reversing! Not only that, but I managed a stress fracture thanks to all that beating of the pavement.
About this time I was exposed to Kettlebells… and I started to dramatically drop weight again, AND I started to see a difference in my physique. I wasn’t just shrinking, my body was morphing out of a fluffy appearance and into more of a toned and athletic appearance. That’s not to say that there weren’t mis-steps and injuries along the way- I was am not a Personal Trainer- so I was throwing punches in the dark with my day to day work out program. That all said, just picking up the weight and educating myself on proper form and technique got me out of the hump- and I saw QUICK results.
Eventually though, even my beloved kettlebells ended up stalling me out at one point, so I moved to more traditional weight lifting workouts- and again saw results. The point is that there are some core elements to losing fat that don’t change: clean whole foods, cutting sugar intake and processed foods out of your diet will always work… Picking up heavy weight is also neccesary for healthy fat loss, improved overall fitness, and ultimately a good looking physique. But what I have found, is that your programming needs to change every 6-8 weeks or so. Just a few weeks of challenging your body in a different way will keep you moving forward… and frankly, my brain enjoys the challenge of learning something new and mastering a different movement. So when your workout stops giving you the results that it once did, do not just double down and kill yourself in the gym- just STOP… it’s not you- it’s your workout.