Bust Through That Plateau!

Having trouble seeing new gains at the gym? You may have hit a plateau. But hope is not lost yet, because you can bust through that plateau with a little help.

Have you been slugging it out in the gym for months on end? Perhaps at first you were feeling great, seeing some results and motivated to keep going with your new fitness. But now? No matter how many chin ups or bicep you do, it seems like you’re getting nowhere. You’re not losing any fat, and you’re certainly not gaining any more muscle.

So is this it? Are you starting to assume that this is all your body is capable of? Or are you unwilling to accept your current state? If the latter sounds like you, you’re obviously on the plateau but looking to climb that next peak. Don’t give up – better results are still possible with these five tips:

1. Discover Your Weaknesses

If you’re lifting, start paying closer attention to your routine and identify your sticking point. We all have them – the particular part of your move where you’re at your weakest. Once you know what yours is, strengthen it. You’ll be able to lift heavier weights and as a result of the new challenge your muscles will grow faster.

Try this – lift your first sets at approximately 70% of your normal weight, then your last set at 10% more weight than you’d normally go for. It will tax your muscles differently and start to force that change.

2. Take Baby Steps

Many of us are guilty of trying to do too much at once in these situations. We stop seeing results, so we overload – stricter diets, longer workouts, more supplements. But a grueling overhaul isn’t necessarily the answer. Instead of changing everything at once, take it one little boost at a time. Cut down on carbs or sugary fruits, for example and see what that does. After a couple of weeks, try increasing your cardio. If you’re still not getting anywhere, place more attention on your weights. Just don’t do it all at once.

3. Give Yourself A Break

Consider that your plateau could be because of something other than a lack of effort or need to work harder. If you’ve been ill recently, are putting in overtime at work or dealing with stress in your personal life, these could all be affecting your results. Stress and sickness affect the body and mind in more ways than many of us realize.

If this sounds like you, give yourself a little rest. take a few days off to deal with issues, catch up on sleep and recover, keeping in mind that it isn’t time to totally slack off or start eating junk. Then, when you’re feeling refreshed, get back into your regular gym routine and you’ll likely start noticing results again.

4. Try Something Different

Have you been doing the same old workout day in and day out? You need to switch it up now and then! Take a day off from the gym now and then to go swimming, attend a boot camp, go running or try some martial arts. Break it up a little and you’ll work your body in different ways than you do during the old cardio and weights schtick. If you’re really brave, you might even consider yoga or dancing.

5. Consult A Professional

Still not getting anywhere? It’s time to seek help. Hire a personal trainer or a coach to gain further perspective, analyze your body and review your workout and diet. On rare occasions, despite our best efforts, we are just stuck on those damn plateaus and can’t seem to overcome them. There is no shame in this – it happens to the best of us. Just be honest with yourself and admit when DIY tips and tricks are no longer cutting it and it’s time to refer to an outside resource.

Source: Free Articles from

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Five Ways to Make Your Push Up More Productive

The pushup is one of the most basic and effective upper body exercises. Although it’s a fairly simple exercise, most people make a lot of mistakes. These five tips turn the standard push up from a chest/shoulders/triceps move into a full body exercise which means more muscle, increased strength and faster results.

1. Brace Your Core
To avoid rounding your spine and doing “banana back pushups, try squeezing or “bracing” your core. Imagine that you’re going to get punched in the belly. Naturally, you’ll flex to guard. Bracing reduces the risk of injury by enforcing a neutral spine and engages your core, making the pushup of a full body exercise.

2. Squeeze Your Glutes
Your glutes are the one of biggest muscle groups in your body and often times the most inactive. By squeezing your glutes you will protect your lower back, improve posture, provide full body tension and help maintain a neutral spine.

3. Pack Your Elbows
A common tendency during pushups is to flare your elbows wide – a mistake and can lead to shoulder and rotator cuff issues. Instead, pack your elbows in towards your sides, trying to have less space between your armpits. “Stack your joints, with your hands under your elbows, and your elbows under your shoulders. This will improve long-term shoulder health and recruit your triceps and lats more. Having joints in line also creates better range of motion in the shoulders and chest.

4. Grip The Floor
Instead of having your fingers together and pointing straight up, try this instead: Change your hand position so your thumbs are facing each other. Next open your fingers and grip the floor. This immediately creates more full body tension, tightens the lats and triceps and helps engage more upper back muscles.

5. Push The Ground Away From You
Instead of pushing yourself off the ground, think of pushing the floor away from you. This force production translates into full body tension and creates a bracing effect throughout the whole body. By pushing the ground away from you, you’ll use more muscles making the push up more of a full body exercise.

Source: Free Articles from

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How to Lose Weight As Fast As Possible

Rule No. 1

Don’t try to lose weight fast, without first checking with your doctor.

Rule No. 2

Don’t waste your precious time trying to achieve the impossible! The speed at which you lose weight (without regaining it) is dependant on various factors. Including : your present weight. Your general lifestyle. How active you are. How regular your lifestyle is. Your health and family history. The amount of stress in your life. The quickest that the “average” person can lose weight weight successfully is as follows: If you’re 224 pounds or more you can lose up to 4 pounds a week This adds up to 28 pounds in about 7 weeks If you’re 182 pounds or more you can lose up to 3 pounds a week This adds up to 28 pounds in about 9 1/2 weeks If you’re 154 pounds or more you can lose up to 2 1/2 pounds a week This adds up to 28 pounds in about 12 weeks If you’re under 154 pounds you can lose up to 1 1/2 pounds a week This adds up to 14 pounds in 7-10 weeks Does this sound too slow for you? Hopefully not. Because you won’t do it any faster. Sure, you might LOSE weight faster. But you’ll REGAIN it just as quickly.

Rule No. 3

Make sure you follow a sensible balanced diet If you really want to lose weight fast, AVOID the gimmicky diets and choose a sensible diet plan that allows you lots to eat and offers a balanced menu.

Rule No. 4

Never go hungry! Remember, hunger is still the biggest diet-killer! Most dieters still think that the less they eat, the faster they lose weight. This is nonsense. Why? Because food makes us happy. So the less we eat, the more uptight and miserable we get. Result? Hello cookies, Goodbye diet! The moral? If you want to lose weight fast and keep it off, don’t allow yourself to go hungry. A full stomach is still the best protection against temptation – so KEEP YOURS FULL

Rule No. 5

Make friends with good foods! We live in a fast-food society. We eat too much restaurant-food, junk food, instant snacks and processed foods. These foods are usually very high in the two most-fattening ingredients: FAT and SUGAR. Which is why obesity is becoming such a problem, especially in America where an estimated 1 in 3 children are overweight (never mind the adults).

Fast Weight Loss Food Tips

The moral?

If you want to lose weight fast and keep it off, make friends with good foods.

1. Learn more about food and nutrition

2. Do more home-cooking and less eating out

3. When eating out, choose non-fat or healthy options

4. When shopping, choose fresh foods whenever possible and buy less processed food

5. Drink water, 100 per cent fruit juice diluted in 1/2 – 1/2 water, or calorie-free soft drinks.

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