Dear Fitness Coach,
This is the second time I am writing to you, so I hope you don’t have a limit and you will help me again. I took your advice about 10 months ago, joined a gym and lost 35 pounds by combining a low-sugar/high-protein diet with weight training and the elliptical four to five times a week. I have been very consistent and have a pretty good workout routine going: Monday is back/bi’s; Wednesday is shoulders; Thursday is legs/abs; and Saturday is chest/tri’s. Everyone tells me I look great, and I do feel amazing.... But the problem is I want to look even better! I am a 34-year-old guy and really want some muscle definition. I probably have another 15 pounds to go, but the scale isn’t budging. My abs/chest still looks like it did months ago, and I am getting more than a little frustrated.
Plateaued and PO’d
First off, I’ve got to say congrats on your weight loss and what looks to be a lifestyle change. The initial advice that I gave you applied to your situation 10 months ago: dietary changes and body-part split weight training helped you take off the first 35 pounds. Now that you are close to your goal weight, it does get a bit trickier. Routine is important in getting you to the gym on a consistent basis; however, your body has gotten used to the routine that you have been doing, and it’s now time for a change. As a matter of fact, to see continued progress in your physique you need to mix up your workout every 6 to 8 weeks. Here are some examples of ways to ramp it up:
- Stay on track with your eating plan, but try calorie cycling: Vary your calories day to day as long as it evens out by the end of the week.
- Change your cardio routine every month: Try doing interval training on the treadmill by doing 3 minutes of high intensity followed by 2 minutes of lower intensity.
- Try doing CrossFit- or P90X-style metabolic conditioning twice a week and weight training twice a week.
- On your weight-lifting days, change up your splits: Instead of back/bi’s, do a back-and-shoulders day and an arm day.
By making these alterations, you are shocking your body and should see physical changes within the month.