- Adjusting caloric intake
Whether you’re looking to gain weight or lose some fat, you would’ve adjusted your caloric intake to match your goals. Now as you start to lose or gain weight your metabolism will slowly adjust, for example if you’ve dropped weight your body doesn’t need as many calories to fuel yourself due to a smaller physique. As the other way, if you’re looking to gain weight then eventually your metabolism will need more calories to fuel itself as you’ve now got more weight to you. When trying to lose weight, you need to be careful not to lower your calories too far too the point you body goes into “starvation mode”. This “starvation mode” will actually further hinder your progress as you’re eating so little your body stores more food due to the fact it doesn’t know where the next meal will come from.
However I think the first action you should take before making any other drastic changes is to slightly adjust your caloric intake, as chances are your metabolism has just adjusted to your new self!
2.Change of routine.
I think sticking to a routine is one of the best ways to track your progress, chopping and changing your routine week in-week out allows for no consistency. Especially when bulking, having a routine is incredibly important as you need to be constantly getting stronger and progressively overloading on exercises. By changing all the time, you’ll never get a proper feel for the exercise and won’t ever be able to properly track your progress.
However there comes to a point, similar to the calorie tracking that your muscles won’t get as stressed through training. When weightlifting, you put your muscles through stress causing them to tear and then repair. However, when sticking to the same routine and not increasing weight or adding more volume in, your muscles become more efficient and won’t be caused as much stress due to the fact it’s the same weight and exercise. Therefore, without ever changing reps or exercises or even simply increasing the load, your muscles will become more efficient and not require as much energy to repair. So if you’re not losing weight or not getting stronger in the gym, it may be time to change up the rep range or change a few exercises. I’m still a big fan of including all compound lifts and making sure to keep the exercises you feel are most efficient to you, however a switch in exercise is another action to take if you’re stuck in a rut.
Sleep is one of the most vital pieces to progressing in the gym. Allowing a full night’s sleep will rest your body and mind and will allow you to walk into your next workout with maximum intensity. Not only can a full night sleep help you work out efficiently, it’s also best to get the most efficient recovery when coming to repairing your muscles. Now when we sleep your body goes into a stage where it will break down the muscles in order to supply essential amino acids for your stomach due to the long starvation period. However this is easily offset by eating a high protein meal before bed, this will actually increase protein synthesis overnight meaning your muscles will be able to tear and grow when in a deep sleep.
Also when sleeping you’ll release a lot of different hormones including human growth hormone (HGH), a lack of sleep will negatively affect your HGH levels. HGH is produced naturally and is great as it can increase lean body mass, or fat loss. This works due to HGH promoting enzymes called “lipases” that break fat down and providing more fat burning. So for the last action I’d recommend monitoring your sleep and making sure you’re getting a good 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
If you’re stuck, give some of these a go to drive you through that brick wall!
I’m Ben Holley, I’m 21 years old and working as a fitness instructor from Swindon, Wiltshire. I recently just started my online coaching business and blog posts in 2018 and I’m loving it! I’m truly passionate about helping people achieve their goals and learn something different. Thank you for reading!