Plateauing 😥

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This past weekend I was asked “What do I do when I don’t feel like my workouts are enough anymore?”

This happens to everyone. We all plateau and recognizing when we’re plateauing is the first step to moving past it!

How does it feel to plateau?

You feel like you’re going through a routine and it doesn’t feel like it used to. Things that used to be hard, seem a little easier and your physical changes have seemed to come to a hault.

What do you do about it?

The obvious short answer would be to do something different. Here are some options that I rely on:

  • If you’re focusing solely on high intensity training or cardio, one option is to try a different form of cardio or my recommendation is to start resistance training.
  • Weight Training (resistance training) is the perfect plateau crusher because now your working a different part of your muscle than you were with cardio.
  • If your currently only doing resistance training switch it up for some cardio or a different style of resistance training
  • There are so many forms of weight training out there! For example, the person who asked this question said she works out at home and feels stuck. I suggested 2 things to her:
  • She should either take her current workout and add more weight to it. When adding more weight it can be tricky to figure out what’s too much and what’s not enough. I suggest seeing what weight you can do 20 reps of and then see what weight you can do 5 reps. Then meet in the middle and that’s the weight you should be able to get 8-12 reps out.
  • Because she may not have the extra weight at home, do a more focused version of each exercise (ie slow down a squat so you can really feel it when you go down and then slow back up). So even just changing the speed of your exercises makes a difference.
  • Rest days- sometimes taking a break for a day or two makes a huge difference. Our muscles need a break and it’s hard to remember that sometimes. I’ve felt the best during a workout right after I take a day or two to recoup.

Have a great day!

Favorite Back Work Out: Lat Pulldowns

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Lat Pulldowns are an amazing back workout!  There are so many different variations that can be done and you don’t need a lat pulldown machine like I am using below.  Even though it’s one of the most frequently seen cable machines, you can also do the same motion if you have a full double cable pulley system or if you have bands.  In the  video below I’m doing two different variations of lat pulldowns: Reverse Close Grip and Neutral Grip.  I usually do another variation as well, Wide Grip, but the routine I did today didn’t include them.

Things to remember when doing any variations of lat pulldowns:

  • You want to start your set by trying not to move your whole body when pulling down, you want to focus as strictly on your lats as you can.
  • The stretch at the top is a great way to utilize the muscle to it’s full potential.
  • As you do more sets, you may find yourself rocking a little, which is fine, but try to keep as much of your lats into it as possible.

Before I went to Florida, I mentioned doing either a Powerlifting training program or FastPhysique again, BUT change of plans!  I will be traveling again in about 4 weeks, so I found a program on Bodybuilding.com that is a 4 week shred.  I’m going to be doing Kris Gethin’s 4weeks to Shred!  

I’m excited about this program.  It consists of about a half hour of lifting and then 30 mintutes of steady state cardio.  This morning was back day, here’s the routine!

  • Reverse Close Grip Pulldown (see video below)
    • 3 x 5/5;10/5;10;15 (drop sets)
  • Neutral Grip Pulldown (see video below)
    • 3 x 5/5;10/5;10;15 (drop sets)
  • Machine Row
    • 3 x 5/5;10/5;10;15 (drop sets)
  • T-Bar Row
    • 3 x 5/5;10/5;10;15 (drop sets)
  • Preacher Curl
    • 3 x 5/5;10/5;10;15 (drop sets)
  • 20 minutes of Stairs
  • 45 minute walk at lunch

Enjoy!!!  Tomorrow is Delta and Triceps!

I’m Back!!! Shoulder Attack!

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Today was one of my favorite days! Shoulder Day!  I started off with the same warm-up I mentioned before and did it even faster than last time! 7min42sec!  I dropped 20 seconds! Score!  So for my actual shoulder workout this is what I did:

  • Seated Shoulder Press
    • 4×10-12 pyramiding the weight up (25-30lbs)
  • Reverse Pec Dec
    • 4×12 constant weight
  • Triple Set! 3×12
    • Dropset- Plate Raises: 45lbs to 25lbs
    • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
    • Dumbbell Rear Delt Raises
  • Rear Delt Band Work (not in video)

ENJOY!

FINALLY! Fully Hydrated!

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I finallllly feel back to normal.  Yeeesh!  I will have to admit the break felt good and really had me focus more on nutrition.  I didn’t bring the camera today.  But had an awesome met con/leg day!

What is met con you may ask!  Met con stands for Metabolic Conditioning.  What is metabolic conditioning?  Metabolic Conditioning or metcon is a mix of work and rest that is done to get the desired effect.  I like to do this time to workout when I know I don’t have a lot of time to be in the gym.  You can do 20 min of metcon work and leave the gym a hot sweaty mess if you put the right amount of intensity.  HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a form of metcon.  Circuits are another form of metcon.  Today I did a FastPhysique metcon circuit where I did 6 exercises with lots of reps and timed myself to see how long it took me to do the circuit.  This time I only had to do it one round.  This is what I did and it took me 8 minutes to do it with just a 45lb barbell:

  • (15) strict overhead barbell presses
  • (20) upright rows
  • (25) front squats
  • (30) deadlifts
  • (35) overhead push presses
  • (40) barbell back squats

This was awesome!!!!  I actually did this as a warm-up for my leg day because I haven’t been in the gym in a while.  For the full FastPhysique program, this would be the whole workout, but I’d also be working out 6 days a week.  

The rest of my leg day consisted of:

  • 3×15 seated calf raises; 90lbs
  • Superset
    • 4×12 leg press; 180lbs
    • 4×15 sumo goblet squats; 27.5lb dumbell
  • 2×12 Lying Leg Press; 78lbs/ DROPSETS 2X12; 78lbs/58lbs (my feet felt like lead walking up the stairs after this)
  • 12 min cool down on the bike; 2 miles 
  • 10 min Aaptiv stretching

Click here if you would like to read more information regardin metabolic conditioning from an article from Men’s Fitness.

My First Vlog- Shoulder Day & YouTube Channel

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My popular demand, I have started a YouTube channel!!!  Click on the link to watch!  Two things I will warn you though

  1. Ignore my outfit, I had it set aside for a cardio day that I did not do… I am human.. I didn’t want to wake up yesterday so this is my punishment lol
  2. I just got my Go pro yesterday and have woohooo much to learn, so the angles will be a little win my
  3. ENJOY

First Vlog- Shoulder Day

When You’re A Celebrity…..ADIOS REALITY!

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Thank you Brad Paisley for this super fun song!  I feel like a celebrity!  I’ve never had my picture up like this anywhere except maybe in high school…. but that doesn’t count!   I feel awesome knowing that I accomplished this (with the awesome guidance of my trainer Joe Wells).  I am a little embarassed that I did all the work for the bodybuilding shows and then let it all go, but I am human and I have learned from my mistakes.  I have also learned when you deprive yourself for too long, it takes a mental toll.  Doing the bodybuilding shows did help me build my willpower and it also taught me a lot about how to lose weight the right way and the extreme way (not necessarily bad).   I will use this challenge as motivation to continue to live the healthiest life I can.

SHOULDER UPDATE!  I golfed on Thursday 18 holes and I trained chest and triceps today!!!!!  I haven’t trained them in over a month and it felt really good to get back at it!   I did not go heavy, but made sure that I was getting blood to the muscle and that I could handle the weight and motion.  

Workout today:

 
-12 min HIIT on Stairs (3 min warmup; 40 sec @ 1/40 sec @ 17  rounds)
– Superset: Band Chest Press & Band Flies (20 reps each)
– Hammer Strength Seated Chest Press (10 lbs each side and 3×15)
– Straight bar tricep cable pushdowns (30lbs 3×15)
– Seated Machine Chest Flies (30lbs 3×15)
– Lying DB Skull Crushers (15lbs 3×15)
-Triset: Decline crunch (10lbs)/Decline Oblique twist (10lbs)/20 rev crunches
 
This workout felt awesome!  My shoulder felt good and I’m excited to get back into training chest and shoulders again.  Just going to take it slow initially and work my way back up.  I am in no hurry!