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5 Proven Ways To Break Through Your Plateau

It happens to us all. Everything is going great. You’re adding muscle and shedding pounds. You feel stronger and more confident.

And then…WHAM! It hits: the dreaded plateau.

Suddenly, everything is going wrong. You stop building muscle, stop losing fat, and stop progressing. It’s a state of homeostasis,where here everything stays the same.

At this point, many people get discouraged and give up. They back away from the gym and stop watching what they eat. In a few weeks or months, they rouse themselves enough to try getting in shape again. After some rapid progress, guess what?

Yes, they hit another plateau. And give up again for a while. Sometimes this cycle can repeat itself for years.

I have hit so many plateaus in my life but the one I remember the most is when I sat around 92 kg. I must have sat there for 2 years. Up to 93, down to 91, but 92 was it.
I thought I was doing everything right. But I wasn’t. I was doing the same thing I had been doing for as long as I can remember. As soon as I made the changes that were required, I suddenly shot up to 97 kg. This is where I comfortably sit right now and i’m stronger than ever.


What does all this have to do with you? Everything! My message to you is:

Don’t get discouraged, get off your plateau instead.

Here’s how.

  1.       Cycle Your Calories

If your goal is 3000 calories per day., That’s 21,000 per week. The normal gym goer would split this up evenly over 7 days. This makes life easy but also makes it easy to stagnate.

 

Instead, eat more or less each day depending on what you are doing that day.

For example, you might eat 3,400 calories on leg day and 2,900 on arm day and so on.

 

This helps to trick your body into believing it’s not losing fat or on a long term bulk. The result: more constant growth.

 

  1.       Periodize Your Routine

Or in simple terms, switch up things every week or so. Periodization has been proven to improve muscle growth and fat loss. How it works is as soon as your body starts to figure out what you’re up to, you change your routine.


A simple protocol would look like this:

Week 1: 5 reps

Week 2: 8 reps

Week 3: 10 reps

Week 4: 12 reps

Week 5: start over

 

This is basic version of periodization where you alter the rep ranges to target different energy systems and muscle fibres.


As you advance, you can switch up the exercises as well as the rep ranges.

This will keep your body guessing and promote constant growth.

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  1.       Fast

Fasting is extremely popular and for good reason. It cleans out old cells, helps regulate hunger hormones, and can slow the effects of some diseases.

 

The sort of fast I recommend is a 24-36 hour fast. I personally go for longer fasts between 3-4 days for health benefits that aren’t gym related.

During your fast your body will forget about what it’s been doing and start cleaning out old cells in the body to use as fuel. The duration without food also helps your body look to your stored energy to keep it alive.

 

After your fast, you will have reset your body and you can begin your normal regime again.

If your fast is longer than 2 days then once every 2 months is a good frequency. If you decide the shorter fasts are your thing then once a month or up to once a week can be beneficial.

 

  1.     Work Harder

We can become the villain in our own story. We get comfortable and stop treating each workout with the intensity it deserves. Instead we look for something else to blame whether it be genetics, age, work, your bad knee etc.

 

Make sure you are giving every workout your absolute best. You should feel like crawling out of the gym.

 

My favorite way to increase intensity is to add dropsets to each exercise.

 

To do this, simply take the set to failure, drop some weight and go again. It will feel like someone has a blowtorch to your muscles.


5. Forgive Yourself

Plateaus are inevitable. Whether you like it or not, it will come. It happens to all of us. Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekly gym goer, you’re still human. The important thing is to keep going and say: “okay, what now?”

 

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Fat Loss Fitness

8 Uncommon Must Have Exercises in Your Fat Loss Program

Fat loss comes down to 3 things. Exercise, nutrition, and recovery.

When all three of these are in sync, you will notice massive results. If one is off, the triangle won’t function.

Recovery and nutrition are major factors in fat loss. If you can’t fuel and recover properly, you can’t expect to perform in the gym.

Here are 8 uncommon exercises that you need to recover from because they are that effective.

This is a list of exercises that deliver the most bang for their buck. They are multi-jointed exercises that are very calorie expensive. Not only that, research shows that explosive, full-body moves improves testosterone and growth hormone levels. These are essential muscle building hormones that every guy wants to optimize. You won’t see traditional exercises such as a deadlift or squat in there. These are already part of your program.

 

1: Pull-Ups:

These aren’t exactly an uncommon exercise in the sense that everyone knows what they are. The uncommon part about is, you hardly ever see anyone doing then. Or at least doing them for reps with added weight. Pull-ups are one of the best exercises you can do for you hormone levels and adding serious mass to your back. Add extra weight and you are pretty much telling everyone that you are too strong for you own body. Include pull-ups in your program at least twice a week and watch the fat melt away.

 

2: Dumbbell Snatch:

The dumbbell snatch is one of the best full body exercises you can do. You start with a heavy weight on the floor and launch it over your head. This exercises requires a massive transfer of power. This activates an incredible amount of muscle units. This exercise can either be done with a barbell or a dumbbell. I like using a dumbbell for the extra work my core needs to do to stabilize a heavy weight above one side of my body. I then lower the weight and change sides.

The snatch has also been shown to:

Reduce injury

Increase range of motion

Increase full body stability

Not only that, the strength gained is easily transferred to other movements.

If you look at most Olympic lifters you will notice these guys are jacked. Do what they do and you too will be jacked.

 

3: Clap Push Ups:

Clap push ups, like the snatch, are an explosive movement. Explosive bursts require your type IIB muscle twitch fibres to respond. These are the largest muscle fibres in the body and when trained, they pump up. This is because they draw more fluid into the muscle. Along with adding size, these muscle fibres need energy, and lots of it. If you have repped out 20 push ups, you’ll know it leaves you pumped. Rep out 8 clap push ups and you will be gasping for air and dripping with sweat. Clap push ups need more energy making it harder to recover from. Your body will then need more oxygen over the next 24 hours to facilitate this recovery. This is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.

 

4: Deadball (medicine ball) Slams:

Have you ever slammed a ball as hard as you could at the ground? One rep of your best effort will leave you gasping. Like a snatch, take a heavy ball from the ground and swing it above your head. Slam this ball with all your might into the ground. You have just used all the major muscles in your body. Your legs, chest, shoulders, core, and back have come together to deliver a devastating blow. Grab that ball and deliver another 10 blows to the ground or until you can no longer move. This is a favourite exercise of mine. Give it shot and you will understand why.

Use a tabata timer and slam as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Make sure every slam is with all your power. Rest for 10 seconds and complete another 8 times.

 

5: Renegade Rows:

Renegade rows are very rarely seen performed in gyms. It is an incredibly intense compound exercise. Renegade rows build strength and power, all whilst melting fat.

Renegade rows build extreme power in the back and core. Performing a row in a plank position requires your entire body to work together. You start in a high plank position gripping two dumbbells. This move alone requires core strength and shoulder stability. As you row one dumbbell up, the exercise becomes more intense. It pulls down on your shoulder and your hip immediately wants to rotate to relieve the tension in your core. By resisting this, all off your upper body muscles and even your legs, will fire up to keep you in proper position. I like to pick a heavy weight and aim for 6-8 reps each side.

 

6: Prowler Sled

The prowler sled is one exercise that should be in everyone’s fat loss program. It increases your strength and power, boosts athletic performance and sheds fat. You can push it, pull it, drag it. You can sprint with it or load it up and build strength. Pushing a prowler sled forces your shoulders and abs to stabilize whilst your legs drive forward. This exercise uses almost every muscle in the body. The more muscles used = greater calorie expenditure.
Try this:

Load the sled with 20-30kg.

Sprint as fast you can for 40 seconds.

Rest for 1 minute.

Repeat 10 times.

 

  1. Tyre Flip

Nothing looks cooler than flipping a massive tractor tyre. You can pick one up for free from old farms or for a small fee. Stick it in your back yard and you have everything you need to get shredded.

The tyre flip is like a deadlift. If your goal is to reveal a shredded back and build functional strength, get flipping. Due to amount of strength needed to pick up, this one definitely makes the list of fat burning exercises.

If you are short on room, this is what I do. Flip the tyre, jump inside the tyre then jump out to the other side. Flip it back the way you came. You have now included a calorie expensive jump to go with your heavy lift.

Set yourself a time and go for gold.
8: Burpee

Ah, the burpee. We hate it. We hate it because it works. Nothing is more functional that being able to jump up from a lying position. The problem is people don’t do it enough to get good at it. Like a deadlift, you can’t do it once and expect to master it. Practising the burpee allows you to become more efficient at doing it. The more efficient you are, the more explosive power you will use.

Try and drop to the ground as fast as possible. If you drop to a push up position then lower yourself down, you will lose valuable time and energy. Be as explosive as possible. Include it as part of superset for maximum gains. Burpee pull ups are a great way to incorporate explosive pushing movements with a strong pulling action.

 

The exercises listed above made the list for several reasons. They work multiple muscles groups. They require lots of energy to perform. They are explosive, and they are fun. I love trying new exercises to break up the monotony of the same old routine. Set yourself a goal to work towards to make things more of a challenge. This might be 5 one handed push ups, 12 pull ups, or completing 200 burpees in under 20 minutes. This will make your fat loss journey a lot more stimulating and you are more likely to see that shredded physique you are working towards.