Plateau struggles...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 06, 2012 9:12 PM GMT
    Edit: Sorry, I have this in the wrong category. I meant to put it in the fitness category. I can't see a way to go back and change it.

    I know it's new years and there is an abundance of these threads out there. I have commented on a few myself. Now I am feeling guilty because I am struggling, too.

    OK. I confess. I thought I had this diet thing beat. I have sort of reached a plateau and I am stuck gaining and losing within the same 5 pounds and I am starting off this new year a bit frustrated.

    I am sure you are all sick of hearing about my journey, but in case you've missed it, I started in May of last year and have lost about 110 pounds. I started out at 317 and I am currently wavering between 205 - 210. Today I was 207.

    I have been eating very lean and watching calories closely. My trainer has been picking up the intensity of my workouts and I am seeing results - especially in my arms, legs, and shoulders. I am pleased.

    One thing that still really concerns me is my chest. I have lost weight before and my chest was one of the first things to go down, but this time, I have these huge boobs that will not go away. I have this line that goes around my entire body of fat and loose skin that goes around my upper body. Other than the regular gym exercises and pushups, is there anything that can help me get rid of this line of flab???

    It is a hindrance. I am still somewhat flabby in my abs, but I believe that that flab and loose skin will go away as I continue working out.

    My trainer tells me that the only way I will ever lose the flab in my abs and see those results is by burning the fat. - I confess that I got a little slack on the cardio as it turned winter, but lately, I have been doing 30 minutes before my hour long training sessions, plus an hour on at least two of the off days. Giving me at least 5 days of cardio. I am trying to get that back up to six, but with traveling for the holidays, it was hard.

    I did not eat bad over the holidays, and still managed to lose about 3-4 pounds.

    So, any ideas on how to push me past this plateau? I want a complete transformation by May - which will be the year mark. This summer, when everyone else is hanging by the pool, I want to join them, and maybe take my shirt off without being self-conscious. I've never been able to do that in my entire life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 06, 2012 10:30 PM GMT
    Congratulations on your accomplishments! icon_biggrin.gif

    I find that with plateaus, the best thing to do is to change your workouts.

    Are you doing high intensity cardio? I would say of the 5 days you are doing cardio, 2 or 3 of them should be high intensity interval training for 15 - 20 minutes.

    Also circuit training is a good idea as well.

  • allatonce

    Posts: 904

    Jan 06, 2012 10:54 PM GMT
    Completely change the workout up! And try a bit of a different diet too!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 06, 2012 10:55 PM GMT
    I have started doing high intensity on the elliptical trying to keep my heart rate between 125 - 140 bpm. - which I read is the cardio zone for my age.

    On the weight training days, I do 30 minutes. On non weight training days, I do an hour.

    My trainer is constantly changing my weight training routines up.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 06, 2012 11:49 PM GMT
    By high intensity I mean working at 80 - 85% of your HR if you're in good health. So by your age that's 147 to 156 bpm. Like I said, 2 or 3 days. So instead of going 30 mins, or 60 mins, go 15 - 20 minutes of high intensity intervals preferably not on the elliptical. I hate the elliptical. Sorry! And you might want to do these on non weight training days so you don't wear yourself out.

    So for example, you can do a tabata set of skipping (8 sets of 20sec high intensity skipping, 10 sec rest), 8 sets of sprints and finish off with a tabata set of burpees.

    Other good cardio exercises include kettle bell swings, mountain climbers, squat jumps, or even boxing.

    Basically you want to feel like you can't breathe after these sessions.

    Also, when you're weight lifting focus on whole body rather than isolation exercises. Whole body burns more calories. Some ideas are squat presses and lunges with biceps curl. Get creative!

    Give it a try and see how it goes!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 06, 2012 11:59 PM GMT
    We do mountain climbers and jumping jacks in with my weight training quite a bit.

    I do the elliptical because I have issues with naturally flat feet and a bum ankle. I don't handle high impact well. So rather than sabotage myself into giving up, I've learned to love my cardio.

    I'm leaving the weight training sessions to the trainer because I am paying him enough money that he should be able to figure that out. He has recently been adding some very basic crossfit into my routine, which makes me out of breath, too.

    Our deal is that I take care of the cardio and he will take care of the weight training. I am seeing good results in the weight training from him. I am disappointed in my cardio. Are there other lower impact options? I am open, but skipping rope and things even running on the treadmill are just not options.

    I can try to do 15 - 20 minutes on the elliptical with a higher heart rate. - Often times, while I have the workout set to keep me within the target heart zone of 125 (which is the fat burning zone for my age according to that machine) - I end up getting into my music and my heart rate goes to the 140's (thank you DJ Grind) and will stay for the duration of a song or two - so I should be getting a similar cardio effect from that. I am definitely pleased with my stamina on the workouts. I can easily maintain the hour.

    This past week, because of budget constraints, I was only doing 30 minute sessions with my trainer. We did more of a full body curcuit that included mountain climbers, jumping jacks, bench dips, etc. with lighter weights and higher rep sets. It was actually pretty intense, but I handled it pretty well. I don't think I could have made it 30 seconds a year ago.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 07, 2012 12:02 AM GMT
    allatonce saidCompletely change the workout up! And try a bit of a different diet too!

    My trainer is constantly changing the workout up.

    I think the diet is part of my problem. I am just not sure where the diet is going wrong. - I am eating pretty clean. Allowing myself cheat days to reset my metabolism.

    I am going to try cutting carbs back some more. - I have been increasing my protein, but I may need to increase it more. I have done a lot of research on nutrition, but I am a bit stumped.

    I may just naturally work my way out of this plateau now that my vacation time is ending and I get back to the normal routine of life. - I am wondering if that isn't playing a part. Except for my daily trips to the gym, I have been pretty inactive the last few weeks.

    Thanks everyone. Sometimes it helps to talk it out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 07, 2012 12:45 AM GMT
    I get that you use the elliptical because of your ankle, but if you want to burn more calories you should get off it. Exercises that will have less impact on your ankles are, as I mentioned above kettle bell swings and boxing. You can even do woodchops for cardio as well.

    It's great that you can last an hour doing cardio but for fat loss you want to train for anaerobic endurance (high intensity interval training) not aerobic endurance. Your cardio sessions should be short and hard.

    Have you talked to your trainer about this? What does he have to say?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 07, 2012 8:05 AM GMT
    Today is one of my off days. I may give this a try.

    I may start doing harder bursts on the elliptical - just because there's a heart monitor built in. - Then move on to something else.

    I will research this further because I haven't heard about this before.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 07, 2012 8:52 AM GMT
    I've been reading more about this HIIT. I think that is what I have been looking for.

    Thanks again.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 07, 2012 11:27 PM GMT
    When I'm sick of cardio I normally join a class. I don't know about you, but I always find Spin/Cycle classes are a great way of getting an hour of sweaty high intensity cardio, when I'm sick of the CV area of the gym floor.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 10, 2012 12:22 PM GMT
    I tried doing HIIT in my home this morning.

    I don't have a heart rate monitor yet, so I just went by how out of breath I was...

    I did 15 minutes alternating jumping jacks and kettle bell swings.

    I did 75 of each with 30-45 seconds between for rest.

    I think that's a good start for a first day. Since this is an off day at the gym, I am going to try doing another round of this this afternoon, so I have 30 minutes in today.

    I was reading that 15-20 minutes of HIIT is effective. So I feel pretty good about that. (At least I think I should feel good about it).

    Thanks for the advice.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 11, 2012 5:03 AM GMT
    One thing that always shocks me out of a plateau is a new workout. I'm now mixing up my routine weekly and it's amazing the difference it has made.

    What's also helped me trim the love handles is doing cardio both before AND after weights.

    Are you using any supplements? Protein powders, pre-workout booster, intra-workout amino acids? These really help too.