Fitness Friday by , ACE, ACSM, Personal Trainer/Fitness Specialist
Are you in a fitness rut? Overcome your end-of-summer plateau...
The beginning of the summer was bikini bootcamp. You were probably quite diligent about hitting the gym or hitting the pavement, but as the summer winds down you may be finding it more difficult to maintain that routine. You don't have to slide into your size zero bikini anymore so what's your motivation?
Here are a few ways to get you out of your rut:
Set a new goal: Ditch the must-be-fabulous-in-bikini mindset to a more specific goal such as a certain weight, body fat percentage, or lifting and/or cardio accomplishment. Make it as specific as possible. Also outline the steps you need to take to get their (i.e., increase cardio time or speed, increase weight, sets or reps)
Change the Scenery: Many of us spend the summer running our butts off, which if you don't particularly love the activity in the first place will eventually get monotonous. Also, it is advantageous to cross train to prevent injury and work different muscle groups. Monday, I ran outside. Tuesday, it was the stepmill and rowing machine at the gym. Wednesday, arc trainer or elliptical....you get the idea. If you've been trapped in a gym all summer, as the weather cools off, find a park near your house and do a body weight workout consisting of running, pull-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, and ab work.
Analyze your diet: Spending countless hours in the gym may pay off somewhat, but to maximize your results you need to be eating appropriately as well. It's 70% nutrition, 30% exercise. Seek out a certified dietitian. Keep a food journal. Make sure you are eating smaller meals more frequently.
Add a supplement: "Which one?" is the real question. There are aisles and aisles of fat-burning, muscle-building, to-good-to-be-true bottles of expensively priced things that I can't even pronounce. I have always struggled with swallowing pills so I like to keep it as simple as possible. New research has come out declaring a small, controlled amount of caffeine before a workout can help aid in fat loss. It also boosts dopamine which could make your workouts more tolerable. Add in a carnitine supplement, which is an amino acid that is required to transport fatty acids to mitochondria during fat utilization, and you are ready to reach new fitness heights.
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