5 Tips for Demolishing Walls and Surviving Winter (Plateaus)

Isn't it great that feeling of accomplishment we get from a heavy workout, some months of consistent nutrition or even small changes which start getting us some desired results? You are lifting heavier, breaking new personal records, looking good and happier, clothes are fitting better or sometimes the pants even start falling down, but then that is exactly when you should be prepared for what is to come as a consequence of such nice results.

And contrary to what you may be thinking right now, even though at Nilogia Fitness we strive to keep the articles always positive, we are also realistic.

- So Nilo, what do you mean by that?

It is in time of great achievements that we must be prepared for the challenges to come. As fitness enthusiast Eddard Stark once said (prior to losing his mind): - Winter is coming.

Winter in Fitness is about reaching plateaus or informally speaking, hitting the wall. It is about that moment when simple strategies like eating unprocessed food or exercising one hour a day stop getting you somewhere.

So here are Five Tips to Help you Demolishing These Walls and Surviving Winter:

1) Track your Food. In the past we had food journals, now simple apps like Myfitnesspal can help you tracking the amount of food you have been ingesting and the amount of exercising you have been doing. For someone focusing on weight loss it would be a simple, but effective approach to evaluate if the diet which was giving result is still suitable for further achievements. Consult a nutritionist if it gets too complicated.

2) Have your Exercise Routine Reassessed from Time to Time. It does not matter how tough or knowledgeable you are, we all may end up lifting less than we should or working out less than we could. As coach John Broz would say - How you feel is a lie. There is not one rule fits all for how often workouts and weights should be changed. Count on a fitness professional for assistance if needed.

3) Increase your Sleeping Time and Water Intake. Evaluate if you have been sleeping enough, and check the amount of water you have been drinking. When rest is not enough, your body does not recover properly, Cortisol goes up and it becomes more difficult losing fat and putting on muscle.

4) Drink More Water. Dehydration plays a part on toxic buildup and it decreases our energy levels. Water is essential for most of the metabolic functions so make sure that you drink at least one liter for every 20 kg of body weight.

5) Easy Tiger, Focus on the Big Picture. Mary was 200 lbs and lost 50 lbs over the past 6 months. Larry went from skinny sedentary to a teenager who put 30 lbs of muscle mass in less than 4 months. All incredible results, even I have great memories from the first years working out. But then, even though the speed of our gains might diminish, it does not mean results are not coming. Losing 1 kg of fat for every month over the period of one year tends to be much more effective than losing 12 kg in the course of one month. Same for adding muscle mass or improving strength without gaining too much fat or injuring yourself.

Keep Strong. And Be Ready for Demolition.