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  • Need advice on breaking through the fat loss plateau

    So I've been at this since April of this year. I'm down 27 pounds....not sure of the fat/muscle breakdown, but I'm the strongest I've ever been in my life so I can only assume I added some muscle in addition to losing fat. The problem is I've been stuck at 190 for 2 1/2 months now. I've experimented with IF quite a bit. I've gone zero carb for weeks. I've cut calories down to 1200/day...I've also upped them to 2,500/day. Nothing is working...I'm no longer losing bodyfat and I am not able to increase the weight on my lifts on a regular basis. I lift MWF and try to stay active on the weekends. I do spend 90% of my workday sitting and I'm wondering if this is hampering my efforts? On one hand I feel like I need the rest from squats and deads, on the other I am not exactly following Mark's recommendations on low level movement. It seems like I'm either resting or lifting intensley monday through friday, that's it. Since I just don't have the time or ability to stand up most of the day, should I introduce some type of intense cardio at night even though I am sore from the weights?

  • #2
    Think you've answered this. Lots of moving slowly will program your body for burning fuel, specifically by reducing cortisol.

    There are 10 primal laws. They all contribute
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    • #3
      jesus, you're 190 and active and eating 2500 cals a day?

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      • #4
        it sounds like you're lifting too often and not really giving your muscles time to repair, hence not making any progress.. maybe cut it down to 1x or 2x a week? also, have you tried sprinting? a lot of people apparently see a lot of gains in their progress in the week after a sprinting session, even if it only lasted for 4-6mins. it's also good in that it doesn't require a lot of time, if you're pressed for it.

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        • #5
          I would add some HIIT/sprinting for sure. It works for me.
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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice. The problem with sprinting is that to do it I need to not do squats so it's really just replacing one exercise with another. I think I need to add something in the short time I have, but were not supposed to do cardio.

            As for overtraining I guess it's possible. I have experimented quite a bit and am down now to squats, deadlifts, pullups, bench press, and overhead press. I'm doing 3 sets of 8 reps with 1 minute rest between sets and exercises. I only lift 24 hours after losing soreness...which means some weeks its three times, some weeks it's twice...or maybe I skip squats or bench or whatever. I'm trying not to wear myself out.

            As for calories, yes if I eat more than 2,500 at my current activity level I get fat. I'm over 6 foot so there is whole lot of bones in that 190lbs and not much muscle. I've done GOMAD before while doing stronglifts 5x5 and even then I was getting fat while squating heavy three days per week.

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            • #7
              Markz, I strongly suggest converting to a standing desk and get away from sitting all day. I found for myself that converting to standing made a huge difference in how I felt and probably helped some of my fat loss. Also, for me, I have found that less is more as far as weight training. Stronglifts is a great program, but for me, it was too much too often. I now do two heavy weight full body training days per week. One focuses on squats OR deadlifts, the other day focuses on chest. Each of the two days also includes a variety of other exercises such as pullups, pushups, overhead presses, dips, etc. I no longer do sprints, but instead do Tabata type intense workouts for a short period which are a better substitute for me.

              As far as your diet, if you are gaining fat at 2500 calories per day, then it's most likely that your sitting and office work are not burning enough calories. I suggest monitoring your calories closely, and drop them by 100 per day for a few weeks at a time until you find your maintenance level. Then, drop it by 100 calories or so to see if you begin to lose. This method has worked well for me, but you have to be patient. For example, stay at 2500 for 2-3 weeks and see what happens. If you do not gain fat (measure using tape/calipers rather than scale), then continue for another 2-3 weeks. If you are still not gaining or losing at that point, then you are likely at maintenance. You can try adding some calories or cutting some at that time. However, only change your intake by 100-200 calories at a time. Don't make drastic changes. I found that slow gradual changes are best.

              This is what has worked for me. Your age, genetics and other factors may allow you to do differently.

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              • #8
                Markz; I don't understand why you can't squat and sprint, maybe I am confused by what you described your lifting schedule to be. Also what kind of IFing are you doing? What sort of height are we looking at?
                My whole life, I've felt like an animal......but I've ignored my instincts. I ignored what I really am. That will never happen again.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by markz View Post
                  Thanks for the advice. The problem with sprinting is that to do it I need to not do squats so it's really just replacing one exercise with another. I think I need to add something in the short time I have, but were not supposed to do cardio.

                  As for overtraining I guess it's possible. I have experimented quite a bit and am down now to squats, deadlifts, pullups, bench press, and overhead press. I'm doing 3 sets of 8 reps with 1 minute rest between sets and exercises. I only lift 24 hours after losing soreness...which means some weeks its three times, some weeks it's twice...or maybe I skip squats or bench or whatever. I'm trying not to wear myself out.

                  As for calories, yes if I eat more than 2,500 at my current activity level I get fat. I'm over 6 foot so there is whole lot of bones in that 190lbs and not much muscle. I've done GOMAD before while doing stronglifts 5x5 and even then I was getting fat while squating heavy three days per week.
                  I do muscle groups on different days. I think squatting 3x a week is too much, just my opinion.

                  If I do legs and back on Tuesday or Wed so doing sprints on Saturday is no problem.

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                  • #10
                    I squat one or twice a week, and still get in 1 to 2 sprint sessions a week. One is tabata sprints, the other just straight 50-100 yard dashes. I think sprinting will help you break through to the level you want. It has worked great for me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Adventure8410 View Post
                      Markz; I don't understand why you can't squat and sprint, maybe I am confused by what you described your lifting schedule to be. Also what kind of IFing are you doing? What sort of height are we looking at?
                      I try to to get a mix of squats and deadlifts three times per week. For IF I will skip breakfast or lunch or dinner. Sometimes I've done a 24 hour fast. Height is 6'3".

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                      • #12
                        are you getting sufficient micronutrients? selenium? zinc?

                        what about D?

                        And +1 on tabata sprints. I also do sisson sprints (40 seconds on, 2 min rest x8)



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                        • #13
                          Try raising your carbs to around 100g/day.
                          You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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                          • #14
                            Cillakat, what is a 40 second Sisson sprint? I tried to start a sprint thread but I'm getting some questionable responses.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RezH View Post
                              Cillakat, what is a 40 second Sisson sprint? I tried to start a sprint thread but I'm getting some questionable responses.
                              It's just what I wrote above
                              I also do sisson sprints (40 seconds on, 2 min rest x8)
                              Doing something (running, burpees, bike sprint etc) for 40 seconds, followed by a 2 minute rest period.

                              great general post on sprints:
                              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sprint-training/

                              Mark on why he prefers 40s sprint/2 min rest (I just call them Sisson sprints b/c of this post) v. Tabata:
                              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/prima...t-plan-basics/
                              For me, sprinting should be about maximum effort at all times, which is why I tend to shy away from Tabata sprints on my dedicated sprint days. Twenty seconds at a time with a mere ten seconds of rest just isn’t enough for most to maintain top effort; it’s a great option for HIIT metabolic conditioning, but if I’m trying to tap into my burst power energy pathway, Tabata is too limiting. If you can maintain top speed for twenty seconds at a time performed eight times over the span of four minutes, though, be my guest! Most will find somewhere in the seven to ten second range more suitable. Take as long as you need to recharge between sprints, of course, and run on grass, sand, or trail with concrete as a last resort. Shoeless is best, followed closely by Vibrams (Geez…I’m starting to sound like a spokesperson for Fivefingers!). Your session shouldn’t take much longer than ten minutes.
                              specifically on tabata:
                              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-are-tabata-sprints/



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