No Progress? No Problem!

Are you still early into your diet or exercise plan and already beginning to lose that initial excitement and thrill of accomplishment?  Have you begun to “hit a plateau” and find your resolution to push on fading day by day?  If so, please, don’t give up the ship!

What you are experiencing is normal, it is all part of the big picture, and I will show you how to regenerate that lost excitement.

Let me explain what is occurring in your body, and why it should not be a reason for concern.

Typically, when someone begins a new exercise program after a long period of inactivity they will experience rapid strength gains and other exhilarating signs of progress; this is because though the muscles are not growing rapidly, the body adjusts to the new load requirement by learning how to recruit muscles to do the job, and by creating more “motor units”, which are nerve/muscle “designations” for performing that particular motion.  This rapid adaptation leads to the significant gains you see in the first few weeks.  Psychological factors have a play in it also.

Beyond that early period you’ve already made the initial adjustment and any further advancement will require hypertrophy or actual muscle growth.

With dieting, the rapid early losses of weight are mostly realized from water and even lean body tissue loss, so your early enthusiasm should be a bit tempered.  The experts say you should lose only a pound or two a week, so you should adjust your expectations accordingly.  Still, after two months thats 12 to 15 lbs., nothing to snicker at!

The thing to remember is that your desire to get fit or lose weight is a desire to radically change your body, this means that you want to grow or redesign it fundamentally.  Growth is something that takes time.  A child takes years to grow.  You will alter your nervous system, your bone structure, your body’s energy generation system in addition to your muscular makeup.  So don’t expect significant changes over a few short weeks.  Give it six months however and you will be amazed at the difference you’ve accumulated.

As long as you are working your muscles harder than they are built to take – and you provide enough raw material (ie food), – you will experience growth.  As long as you are consuming less calories than your body needs you will have weight loss.  There are other factors that influence this, but the basics still have the greatest impact.

So keep up the pace and take heart.  You’re in for the long haul, you don’t want a short term gain that will evaporate just as quickly.  You want to build something lasting  (and great to look at!)  Good luck and let me know how you’re doing!

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About Warren Dostie

Fitness trainer, author and avid anti-aging specialist. Age 55
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2 Responses to No Progress? No Problem!

  1. Great post, Warren.
    It is always good to have extra motivation in your pocket. I know some people who hang “goal pictures” on their bathroom mirror, so they are reminded at the beginning and end of everyday exactly what they are shooting for. 🙂

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