Break Through Your Plateau

These 5 common slip ups slow toning and reduce fat burning.

Using Light Weights

When you resistance train you create tiny tears in your muscle, then when they heal they fill with new tissue.  The new tissue is what increases tone and strength.  So to speed slimming, chose a weight that you can only lift 12 times.  The heavier mass ensures muscle stimulation and can boost that calorie burn by 25%.  Reevaluate your strength limit every four weeks and adjust your weights accordingly.

Sipping Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are great for replacing carbohydrates and electrolytes in your muscle when you are performing endurance activities such as long distance running.  If you’re sipping these during your daily stroll, you may be consuming enough sugar to cancel out all the calories you’ve just burned.  To kick up the calorie burn, flavor some water with a dash of lemon.  It’s been suggested that you drink 12-13 glasses of this lemon water to rev up that fat burn.

Reading on the Treadmill

Plain and simple…if you’re able to read while on the treadmill or elliptical, you aren’t working to fat burning intensity.  Not to mention you’re probably slouching or holding the handrails, which cuts your calorie burn by 25%.  How you beat this is load up that iPod with some upbeat music.  Something that has a tempo of about 120-140 beats per minute.  It’s been shown that this increases your exercise endurance by 15% and helps make your workout fly by.  Check out and download a free BPM analyzer and drag the songs into the program to help you figure out if you have a fast enough beat.

Targeting Abs with Crunches

Sit ups and crunches are a lot of work and you really don’t get much out of them.  These movements really only work the outer layer of muscles and don’t work your core.  There was also a Canadian study that showed traditional crunches put pressure on your spinal discs possibly leading to back pain.  To step up the slimming power, do bicycle crunches.  Researchers in San Diego State University report that this move engages 148% more muscle fibers in the main abdominal and 190% more in the obliques.  What this means is you’re slimming twice as fast!

Sitting While Lifting

The biggest factor in getting great results is to maintain proper form.  But when you sit while weight lifting it could lead to slouching.  Also sitting can reduce your lung capacity, which limits the flow of oxygen to your body, making you feel tired faster.  How you can fix this is simple, stand tall and focus on your breathing, make sure you exhale while lifting and inhale while you release.  Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota found that following this approach can help you burn an additional 50 calories per 30 minute session.

 FIRST for Women Issue dated 3/14/2011

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