Plateau. That dreaded word that you do not want to hear, let alone experience. Especially if you have been diligently exercising in an attempt to get fit or lose weight. We have all experienced a plateau at some time all of a sudden you stop losing weight or you just cant seem to run any faster. When you hit a plateau, don’t panic. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change-up everything or spend more time exercising.
You’ve probably heard, or been told, that for best weight loss results you should work in your “fat burning zone” (about 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate). While lower intensity workouts are great for building endurance, they aren’t always the best choice if your goal is to lose weight. The truth is, the body does burn a higher percentage of calories from fat in the fat burning zone or at lower intensities. However, at higher intensities (70-90% of your maximum heart rate), you burn a greater number of overall calories, which is what matters when it comes to losing weight.
When you use muscles you have not used for a while or try a new exercise or training technique, it is normal to feel a dull ache of soreness in the muscles that were trained. This pain is caused by microscopic tears in the fibers of the connective tissues in your body–the ligaments that connect bones to other bones, and the tendons that connect muscles to bones. This microtrauma may sound harmful but is in fact the natural response of your muscles when they experience work.
“While the short, intense activity of sprinting does not burn many calories, it triggers the release of adrenaline, human growth hormone, cortisol, and testosterone. This hormonal mix elevates calorie consumption for hours and even days after the sprinter has stopped running. Long-distance running does not have the same effect. Instead, it leads to the production of a different hormonal mix that causes muscle wasting, inefficient metabolic processing, and physical decay.” Mark C. Houston, MD
DID YOU KNOW?
Research shows that the less fit an individual is, the more they can increase their VO2 Max through training. In fact, novice exercisers have been able to increase VO2 Max by 20 percent through proper training. Fit athletes have a harder time increasing their VO2 Max, most likely because they are already so near their genetic potential. Absolute values of VO2 Max are typically 40-60% higher in men than in women.