No matter how focused you are and how hard you work, we all encounter times when that scale doesn’t seem to budge, the tape measure is stuck at a less than optimal number, and you’re feeling tired of working your butt off in the gym and watching every bit of food that enters your mouth — all without much progress to show for it.
What then? What happens when you’ve been doing the same workouts that have worked for you, consistently, for weeks at a time — just a few short weeks ago, but now seem to make absolutely no difference to your body. You can’t seem to get a flat belly no matter how hard you’re working on losing that fat, and your strength doesn’t seem to be going anywhere even though you’re giving your workouts your all!
There could be a few things at play here; a couple of them are very easily overlooked by everyone from beginners to more advanced trainees, and we’ll go over both of them here. Let’s jump right in.
Use Your Progressions
It’s easy to keep on doing the same thing every time you walk through the gym; after all, we’re creatures of habit who settle into routines easily. Besides, time just flies so fast these days, it’s hard to lose track of months as they fly on by.
But don’t forget, our bodies are very smart organisms that adapt quickly to stimuli. That’s why it’s so important to be consistently pushing yourself a little further each and every time you’re in the gym.
Every time you walk through those doors, you should be a little better than you were last week. You should be able to add weight, do an extra rep, an extra set, or do what you did last week, but with shorter rest periods… or some variation of these. You can plan the progression ahead of time if you’d like. Get flat belly.
Week 1: Work out as planned
Week 2: Increase weight or reps on exercises
Week 3: Using same weight and reps as week 2, decrease rest periods by 15 seconds
Week 4: Using same weights, reps, and rest periods as week 3, add an extra set to each exercise
Week 5: Increase either weight or reps again
You can go by how you’re feeling or some other external factor, like how much time you have. If, for instance, you’re crunched for time, then it may be a good idea to shorten the rest period. If you’re feeling extra strong, maybe you’ll want to increase weight or reps. If you have plenty of time and endurance, then maybe it’s a good day to add an extra set to each exercise.
You can choose whichever method works for you, just remember to always be progressing! This alone will help you break through that plateau like nothing will!
That’s right, just as suspected, you really are unique and special. Everyone is different! This means a lot when it comes to getting real results in the gym and avoiding any plateaus. Get flat belly.
Think about it this way: What worked for your best friend, your Mom, your boyfriend or Jessica Biel, may not even come close to work for you! This applies to everything from different types of diets, various caloric intake levels, training routines, cardio variations and amounts, and so forth.
Let me give you some examples: I tend to stay leanest while gaining muscle when lifting weights four days a week, eating a lower carb diet of nearly 3,000 calories a day, and doing a decent amount of high intensity interval cardio and other conditioning work.
My 200-lb boyfriend, on the other hand, makes his best strength and muscle gains when training just once every 7-10 days and doing mostly low intensity cardio work. My friend Claire resorted to eating pie filling every morning in her oatmeal while trying to gain lean mass because she was having such a hard time doing it with only clean carbs. And she could see her abs the whole time! How to get a flat belly.
As you can see, everyone is different! Many times, hitting a plateau or seeing no results just means you haven’t found what works for you yet. Just because something is effective for someone you know, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you!
I found that I made the most progress while having the most fun with my diet and training when I treated my body as a science experiment and figured out what worked for me. Of course, I was careful to stick with each diet, calorie level, training routine, or cardio regimen for a long enough time to draw conclusions about how each component affected my body.
I encourage you to be open-minded enough to try new things! When I say “new things,” I mean things that make sense (a “no-protein diet” or a training routine that has you doing single-arm handstand push-ups on a Bosu Ball should probably be avoided no matter what the Guru on the infomercial says!). Infomercials to get a flat belly.
Experiment, have fun, and never, ever give up!