If you have a routine you love, it’s very easy to get stuck within your comfort zone and continue to do the same things over and over, even though there seems to be no improvement. If you stuck at the same body weight, not looking any more toned since last month, or just not feeling any fitter than you have been before, it’s because of the following reasons outlined below. As a personal trainer in Toronto, I always tell my clients to follow the principle of progression in all their fitness goals. As in life if you are not striving to get better you will go nowhere, or at least stay exactly where you are. Read through these 10 circumstances that could be preventing your weight loss progress.
1) You Only Do Cardio to Lose Weight
Almost all women I train are surprised when I tell them my weight loss plan for them doesn’t involved hours of doing cardio. The fact is that for most women to lose weight effectively cardio is just not enough. According to Amy Luke, a PhD and nutritional epidemiologist from Stritch School of Medicine Loyola University, weight loss for women is minimal if it is not accompanied by proper diet. She further states that we may compensate with extra food when we are burning off calories through exercise or we may be less mobile during the day until we go to exercise. Either way it is important to understand that trying to lose weight should be a combination of things and not focused on one thing.
The diet should be in check. Dropping one pound of weight equals burning 3,500 calories. The goal is to eat 300 calories less per day for the whole week, while burning up 300 calories from exercise five days per week. Plan your meals. You plan your workouts so why not plan your meals. Also include weight bearing exercises that help you firm up while losing weight.
2) You Don’t Make Each Rep Count
For women I find that they can lift more weight than they give themselves credit for. Most women tend to feel that the weights are too heavy for them and opt for light weights which don’t really have the effect that we want. If your muscles are not being challenged enough they will not firm up or even burn up enough calories. Exerting more force is what calls for more protein up take into your muscles which in turn burns more calories, speeds up metabolism and creates muscle definition. Choose weights that cause you to struggle and strain when you reach the final two reps. If you are aiming for 15 reps and you are breezing through them then you are not getting the benefit your body needs. Reps 14 and 15 should be a struggle to move.
3) You Stick to One Form of Cardio
Using many different forms of cardio engage different muscles and keep the body guessing as to what’s coming next. Make sure that you don’t spend all your time on the bike or treadmill everyday. If variety is the spice of life then variety is the spice of a healthy body as well. There are many different exercises and tools available for people to use to keep the body guessing. Try doing some high impact and some low impact exercises. Some days do maximum overload on your muscles and really push them hard, while other days give your body a chance to recover by doing lower intensity workouts.
4) You Don’t Warm Up
If you think that skipping the warm up is a good idea then you are wrong. The body must warm up so that blood flow and nervous system wakes up literally to produce the favorable results we need. A warmer body burns up more calories and allows for better performance though the workout. Great warm ups include dynamic movements of the exercise you are going to do. So if you are going to bike, perform a lighter cycle on the bike until you start to break a sweat. If you are going to run or do circuit training, then perform dynamic exercises like butt kicks, high knees, and high knee runs. Anything to closely mimic the actual exercise at a less intense pace. A solid ten minute warm up can not only allow for more calories burned but create the environment within the body to perform much better.
5) You Crunch to Lose Weight
Doing a whole lot of crunches are not going to shrink your waist and they are certainly not going to help you lose weight effectively. There are four muscles in the abdomen. Doing crunches only works one of them, the rectus abdominus. The other three muscles, internal obliques, external obliques, and transverse abdominis are the muscles that give you a leaner look by helping you maintain a solid core and improve your posture. So why are so many women crunching their way into oblivion? Try to target your obliques and transverse abdominis muscles in each ab workout. Try doing planks, double leg stretches and side planks to really shape your core.
6) You Always Do The Same Thing
I started this article with the advice of changing it up in your workout routines to keep your body guessing and growing. If you do the same thing all the time you will get the same results. If you keep adding 1 + 1 you will always get 2. Change it up, and add 2 + 1 to get 3. Or in terms of your workouts, increase the intensity, weight or change up the routine all together. Keep progressing in your workouts so your body never gets used to it and you will see greater gains and solid benefits.
About the Author: Mike Whiteley is a certified personal trainer and owner of PTL Fitness in Toronto, for more information on how to lose weight with the help of a personal trainer online, visit protrainerlive.com