BREAKING THE PLATEAU – UNDERSTANDING F.I.T.T.E

For exercise beginners, weight training twice per week and perhaps two 30 minute sessions of cardio can deliver results.  Unfortunately, our bodies adapt very easily and within a few weeks this type of effort is not enough to make a significant change.  As a person gets stuck in a plateau an appropriate method is to implement the FITTE method into their program.   If you change 3 of the following procedures below perhaps you may break that plateau!

FITTE = Frequency, Intensity, Time of Day, Type of exercise and Enjoyable activites.

1: Frequency – Add an extra workout day.  Add an extra day with your trainer for best results.  Having a scheduled session with a trainer is an obligation and it holds you accountable to be there.  If you decide to train on your own, it would be wise to follow a trainer’s instruction along with their suggested workout rotation to avoid injuries and for better development and recovery.

2.  Intensity – Lift heavier with low reps or lift lighter with more reps, lift more sets, take less or longer rests in between exercises. There are many combinations to consider.  Plan a significant change of attitude on the workout floor.

3. Time of Day – If you are exercising at night, try the morning.   Morning is usually better for fat loss because it elevates your heart rate in the beginning of the day. However, sometimes evening workouts allow the body to sleep better which can result to a much better workout the next time around.

4. Type of training or exercise – One of the most common mistakes I see in the gym are people following the same routine.  Remember our bodies are very intelligent and we adapt easily to specific movements.   Many should consider High intensity interval training, circuit training,  compound stacks related muscle groups, core integration, plyometrics and these are just a few types of methods to change things up.

5. Enjoyment – Play some type of recreational sport that you enjoy.  It doesn’t need to be strenuous, just fun and for perhaps at least an hour.  Some suggestions are Xbox Kinect, cycling, running, hiking, swimming, basketball, tennis, racquetball etc..

SWEAT STUDIO has extended F.I.T.T.E  to F.I.T.T.E.N.D.

Because we train many competitors our clients hit plateaus more often than the normal exercise enthusiast.  Therefore sometimes our trainers must apply techniques further than the standard F.I.T.T.E.  You will not find these next two statements in text books yet, so we suggest consulting a fitness and nutrition specialist to apply these techniques that is more suitable to your needs.

6. Nutrition – Today the media misleads many people.  More and more keep eating less and less because their head is stuck with “I’m eating too many calories”.  This is not necessarily true if you consider more of the details!   As a 22 year fitness specialist I’m often annoyed  and sometimes feel insulted by advertisements and media hype. There are so many low carbohydrate diets that I can’t even keep up anymore.  Keto, Paleo, SouthBeach, Atkins, just to name a few.  The problem is NOT CARBS. The problem for most of us have chosen a sedentary and inactive lifestyle that cannot utilize all the carbs into energy that we consume on a daily basis.

Which you think is more effective for muscle gain and weight loss?  (Females) Eating 150 grams of carbs per day and lifting heavy 3 times per week OR will you be better off on eating 300 grams of carbs per day and lifting heavy 4 times per week?  Assuming that cardio is both the same amount?

Most professionals can explain the Law of Thermodynamics; Calories in vs calories out (in layman’s terms) but we rather say use the energy you put into the body, then expend your surplus.”   An example:  If a 140 pound female eats 1200 calories a day and expends 1600 per day that person will eventually lose weight.  If that same female decides to eat 2000 calories per day and expend 2400 calories per day she will still lose the same amount of weight right?  Now here’s the big difference.  Have you tried working out on only 1200 calories per day? You probably can perform cardio well, but your weight lifting will most likely suffer due to the lack of energy thus making it difficult to build muscle, thus not building muscle means your metabolism remains low, thus no significant changes in your body.  So if you do decide to eat 2000 calories per day and make the effort to expend 2400 calories per day, you may find that your workouts are more intense, you will gain muscle, and increase your metabolism.  Remember your numbers need to be consistent and this is just an example on perhaps how carb-cycling can be more effective in a fat loss program.  The numbers reflected above are examples only so ask your fitness professional to customize a plan tailored to your goals.

7. Duration – Not to be misunderstood with frequency. Duration is how long you should exercise continuously. Weight training sessions usually lasting 45 minutes followed by 30 to 45 minutes cardio are fairly effective.  However to break a plateau, pushing your body further out of your comfort zone once or twice per week may significantly boost your progress.  Take extra precaution and consult your fitness professional first before attempting these modifications in your workout program.  Everyone has their limits.

Hope this helps.

John

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