Have you been working out for years, but never reached your goals? Felt like you plateaued too soon in your training and don’t know how to get past it? Getting results can be a lot simpler than you think, but when you have mainstream media preaching one thing and your trainer or instructors telling you another it can be hard to determine what is write. If you can execute these three changes, you will see progress in your strength, fat loss, and overall health.
#1 Under Eating Protein
Yes, having a certain amount of caloric deficit is a good thing when you are thinking about weight loss, but if we aren’t eating enough protein we will start to burn muscle. This is definitely something to avoid. We don’t want to throw all the hard work in the gym down the drain because we aren’t fueling ourselves enough. Eric Helms, a world renown nutrition and physic coach, suggest eating 0.8-1.0g of protein per pound of body weight when trying to maintain or build muscle. When cutting and leaning out, a higher protein intake helps with satiety and may also help with muscle maintenance so he recommends 1-1.3g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Follow this and see muscle gains or maintenance during your weight loss phase.
#2 Not Lifting Heavy Enough
The biggest myths in mainstream media are that lifting heavy weights will make women big and bulky and that high repetitions at low weight is the proper way to tone and tighten. These are both wrong. One of my favorite quotes on the subject comes from Tony Gentilcore. He says “A woman thinking she’s going to get bulky from lifting heavy weight is like me saying I’m going to win a gold medal in the 100-meter dash because I sprinted yesterday.” It just doesn’t work like that. The best way to see progress in your strength gains and weight loss is to increase the weight lifted. But you can’t do that without a set program which brings me to my next reason.
#3 Program Hopping
Now that we have you eating properly and starting to put some weight on the bar, it’s time to visualize and attack your training. I see a lot of people who don’t give their program time to work because they read Men’s Health’s “Big Biceps by Beach Season” article and decided to try it out. Two weeks later they are on to something else. Find something that has some merit behind it and stick to it. It’s easy to get distracted by what someone else in the gym is doing but I don’t let that sway your workout regimen. Also pick a program that will get you to your goal. Don’t start doing a program like P90X when you’re wanting to squat 500lbs. They just don’t go together.
What should you take away from all of this? Simple. Eat enough protein to continue to build muscle and burn fat. If you aren’t lifting weights heavier than 15lbs, you are most likely not getting any stronger or healthier. And last but not least determine a goal and stick to a program that will help you attain it. Follow these simple rules and see the changes in the gym and in the mirror start to appear.
– Cody Temples ACE, USAW
Fitness and Nutrition is our Prescription