Has Your Progress Stalled?

Everyone gets frustrated at some time or another on their fitness journey. Most often it has to do with body composition or fat loss results stalling after seeing drastic results in the past.

The new standard of “progress” has become pretty high. In a day where we are all used to being able to get information almost immediately, have surgery for nearly anything we don’t like about ourselves, and are bombarded by Instagram models each day, it can be easy to fall into the trap that you aren’t good enough. This is where most folks begin to alter their plan or give up. No matter how well thought out, how well executed or effective it may be, we begin to feel it isn’t good enough. Now, whether or not you are influenced as such is for another conversation or blog post. Today, I want to offer some perspective on what progress truly is. Especially in someone who has been at it for a while. Someone who may feel like they have “hit a wall” in their efforts or plateaued.

Image result for fat loss plateau

 

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” right? This applies in the fitness world even when progress is slow, or at least slow compared to when you first began your journey. Now that you are no longer a “newby” you need to understand the law of diminishing returns. Simply stated, this law says the more often we do something, the less drastic the results will be. Basically, our body is pretty darn good at adapting to the conditions placed upon it and in order to continue adapting, we have to look to subtle changes at different times along the journey. Notice the word subtle.

For most, these changes need to focus around nutrition. Supportive nutrition is the key to building muscle and losing fat. Supportive nutrition simply means you eat to support your goals and lifestyle. It is the fuel that allows to to increase weight lifted or reps performed. Without supportive nutrition, the training we do will not benefit us as well. Now before we go making these subtle changes, let’s define what reasonable progress actually is.

“Reasonable Progress”
PROGRESS FAT LOSS MUSCLE GAIN
Excellent Losing .5 to 1% of body fat every 2 to 4 weeks Gaining 1 to 2lb of lean mass every 2 to 4 weeks
Average Losing .5% of body fat every 4 weeks Gaining 1lb of lean mass every 4 weeks
Slow Losing less than .5% of body fat in 4 weeks

Gaining less than 1lb of lean mass in 4 weeks

 

Some Perspective:

Let’s say you’ve been training sometime and you’ve finally broken that 25%(a tough one to crack for a lot of women) body fat but have been struggling ever since then. At least as far as you’re concerned. Maybe you only went from 30% to 25% body fat in the last 5 months. Well, if you continue at that rate you’d be at 18% body fat by the end of the year and now classified as “Athletic” based on your body fat percentage. YOU WILL HAVE GONE FROM OBESE TO ATHLETIC IN 1 YEAR!!

Maybe you only gain 1lb of lean mass each month. THAT WILL BE A 12lb MUSCLE GAIN IN ONE YEAR! Ladies, well ladies and men, this is the “toning” that everyone is looking for! Of course, staying on a path when progress is at that rate can be challenging. It may seem slow or even non-existent at times. Over the long haul, the situations above present realistic and yet amazing progress.

So, before you let that person showing their awesome max lift or posing “just right” for the camera on Facebook or Instagram influence you or decide to change what program you are on, consider 3 things:

1: The Law Of Diminishing Returns

2: How far you have come (don’t forget to celebrate it!)

3: What reasonable progress ACTUALLY is

In case you are wondering, we have clients we work with on a regular basis who felt “stuck” in their progress. We met with them and helped them make the subtle changes in their nutrition. As a result we’ve seen some pretty drastic, even out of the “reasonable” range type of results. We’ve also seen progress within reasonable ranges. The key is in the fact that when we don’t see progress, we make a subtle change.

If you’d like to learn more about our private nutrition coaching program, contact us at info@breakawayfitnessandperformance.com!

 

 

Comment with questions below!

 

Thanks,

Coach Joe Rouse

I am a local guy. I was born in new Bern, NC and moved to Wilmington when I was 5 years old. The most important aspects of my life are God and my family. I have a beautiful wife Melody and a perfect son, Aiden. Outside of God and my family, I have devoted my life to learning about health, fitness, and the human body. Through this dedication to learning I feel that I have obtained an education of the highest quality to serve you. I completed my undergraduate studies locally at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Health with a Concentration in Exercise Science. Since graduating, I have continued my education through completion of my Master of Science degree in Kinesiology. I have also completed nationally accredited certifications as a Certified Exercise Physiologist, a Level 1 USA Weightlifting Coach, International Youth Conditioning Association, and I am a Master Instructor for Kettlebell Concepts.