Good morning to you all!
Each Monday, I’ll choose a frequently asked question and do my best to respond in a way that provides you with some simple action steps that will allow you to Keep Moving Forward.
Let’s dive in.
I recently spoke with a client who’s made some outstanding progress in her time with us – She’s gained a ton of strength and confidence in the gym, and lost some weight and inches in the process. Although she was happy with her results thus far, she still wanted more, and progress had come to a halt.
Here’s what we did to get things moving again.
It’s important to note that we would only look to take additional action once progress has stalled for at least TWO weeks – no health and fitness related goal is so linear that you’ll progress every week. But when things do stall, (and they ALWAYS will with any good goal) there are 3 issues I see with most clients:
General movement has decreased
Nutrition habits have gradually declined
Too much time has been spent in a caloric deficit
Each of these 3 things are integral to success with any fitness-related goal, and the next 3 emails will review each of these separately. Today I’ll start with #1. While I’ll provide a detailed explanation, feel free to scroll to the bottom for the cliff notes version.
It’s so easy to measure our success and progress by the frequency of our workouts. “If 3 workouts per week is good, then 4 must be better. And of course 6 must be better still!”
But did you know that experts have actually found that after 4 workouts per week your body does a funny thing?
For the average person, once they exceed 4 workouts per week, their overall caloric expenditure tends to level off.
Read that again!
Adding a 5th or 6th workout, on average DID NOT burn any additional calories for the week.
When you over train, the overall stress you’re placing on your body is SO high that it does an excellent job of slowing you down for the rest of the week.
Despite those 300 extra calories burned from taking an additional class, your step count as well as the energy you had to do other things like play pickleball or tennis decreased. I’ve seen this often– people beat themselves down with extra workouts but fail to notice they are no longer getting their 7500-10k steps a day.
This is why low level activity like walking or Zone 2 Cardio (exercise between 60-70% of your max heart rate) is critical for optimal health and fitness. It’s great at burning extra calories without sounding the stress alarm. While too many intense workouts have diminishing returns, Zone 2 workouts and walking rarely can be overdone.
Additionally, we forget that WEIGHT LOSS can affect our caloric burn EVEN IF movement remains the same!
Think about it, if you were taking a daily 30 minute walk when you initially weighed 150 lbs, and now you’re doing the same activity at only 140 lbs, you’re actually more efficient and the intensity is LESS, so the net effect is a lower caloric burn. In the beginning that walk MIGHT have got you into Zone 2; however, because you’re in better shape now, it isn’t hard enough.
It might not seem significant, but 10 less pounds moved around for 30 minutes per day, 7 days a week is a huge drop in the amount of calories burned from the same activity.
Can you see now why a weight vest or GoRuck is such a great piece of equipment to have on hand?
Strap on a 10 lb ruck and go for the same walk. Not only will you maintain the same level of difficulty, but you’ll also appreciate what it felt like to carry that extra weight full-time!
If you’re not hitting 10,000 steps per day, stick to 4 workouts per week and spend the extra time working on the extra movement.
Increase Zone 2 Activity. (60-70% of Max Heart Rate) This can be going for a fast paced walk, biking, swimming, anything. Wear a heart rate monitor – stop guessing.
If you’ve lost over 5-10 lbs, consider adding a ruck or weight vest to your walks to keep the intensity where it needs to be for best results!
Keep moving forward,
PS. Did you know I’m offering FREE 30 minute consults to ALL of our members? I want to hear from you and help you troubleshoot problems just like this. So if you have any questions, simply reply to this email and Lauren will get you set up!