How many of us have almost lost all the weight we wanted to lose but found ourselves struggling with those last 10 pounds? Almost every person in the world, who was successfully losing weight, finds those last 10 pounds the hardest to shed. It’s as though our bodies suddenly reach a plateau in our workouts. Your body was complying with your new diet and work out plan, and you were losing the weight you were aiming to, until finally, it reaches a point where it’s grown accustomed to the routines you’ve inflicted upon it, almost becoming immune to your weight loss strategy. After your body adapts to your methods, it becomes harder to push it to develop muscles and burn fat and calories. For instance, running one mile may have been a struggle at first but your body is now able to easily run three miles; in which case, while running one mile used to challenge your body, you now have to run four to reach the same level of intensity.
For those who chose to lose to weight by eating healthier—great work, you’re well on your way to losing those pounds. But it’s even better for those who chose a combination of healthy eating and exercise. Now, if you’re looking to get through that wall of defense that your body has put up, you need to start building more muscle. Why? Simply, it’s your muscles that help you burn fat and calories. How can you do this? I’ll tell you a few ways you can build muscle below!
Strength training. Just as the name implies, in this method, you’ll be building muscle and strength by using weights. Don’t mix strength training with bodybuilding—they’re not the same. Where bodybuilders are developing muscles to compete against other bodybuilders, you’re doing it to build strength. And no, don’t worry, you’re not going to look bulky—strength training makes you look lean and well defined.
Calisthenics. What are these? The regular body weight training methods like push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, lunges, squats and so on and so forth. In this method, you’re not relying on weights to build muscle but are instead using your body weight as resistance. Alternatively, if you’re looking to challenge yourself a little, try adding free-weights like dumbbells into your routine. But be sure to take it slow—you don’t want to strain yourself because you put too much weight on your muscles.
HIIT. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and is the preferred workout for most people for a few reasons. Firstly, similar to calisthenics, you only need your body weight as resistance. Secondly, and for people with busy lifestyles this is important, the workouts are usually pretty short (you’re looking at under an hour) and you don’t risk muscle loss in the same way steady-state cardio does. Plus, you can change the workouts as often as you like!
One of the most important things to keep in mind when attempting to shed those last 10 pounds is that you can’t spot reduce. If you have a trouble areas, i.e. your belly or thighs, you can’t just target those areas and miraculously lose the 10 pounds from there. There’s a method that has to be followed and it starts by burning fat. After you’ve accomplished that, you can start focusing on body-specific workouts.
The best way to do this, I’ve found, is to keep track of your workouts by keeping a journal. You can determine which method is working best, when you need to change tactics and when you can move onto specific body-focused exercises.
Finally, if you’re certain you’ve tried everything possible to lose those last 10 pounds but still with no avail, you may want to hire a personal trainer. A personal trainer has many years experience in dealing with weight loss plateaus and may be able to offer you specific advice on how to overcome yours and prevent them from happening again in the future too.
At NYC Adventure Boot Camp for Women we use all the above mentioned forms of exercise to keep you on your toes. There is never a boring routine like at the gym. Our workouts are challenging but we still encourage all levels to join.
If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all women boot camp or fitness boxing classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership.
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