As You Lose Weight, Keep Workouts Intense

Fitness may be fairly new as you begin medical weight loss in Greenbrae or Novato, but you’ll quickly find yourself adjusting to your exercise routine. As you lose weight, you may find that once-challenging activities no longer leave you as sore and sweaty as they used to, and this can be an encouraging sign that your efforts are paying off. Unfortunately, it can also be a sign that you’re approaching a fitness plateau or a standstill in your exercise progress.

A fitness plateau can be a frustrating experience, but the remedy is fairly straightforward: make your workouts more difficult. As your body grows stronger, you need to continually update the intensity of your routine to provide new challenges—otherwise your workouts will only deliver diminishing returns.

Though you should always check with Dr. Altschuler to be sure that increasing workout intensity is a healthy choice, many simple strategies can help you amp up your workouts and push past a plateau:


Start Circuit Training

If you’re spending an inordinate amount of time taking breaks to recuperate (or check your phone) between exercises, it may be time to rethink your gym strategy. Circuit training strings together a variety of activities in short bursts to provide an efficient, full-body workout. During a circuit training session, you can combine aerobic activities with resistance training exercises, working out different muscle groups without putting too much strain on any of them.

Instead of spending 15 minutes on the exercise bike and 15 minutes lifting weights, think about combining them into 30-second segments that flow into one another. You can include any activities you like, but should do your best to focus on many different muscles and workouts. If you need help devising a circuit training routine, think about asking a trainer at your gym for help.


Begin a Balancing Act

Because we’re so used to the support of the ground beneath us, doing exercises on an unstable surface can help you get more out of every minute. To increase the intensity of simple exercises, try adding an exercise ball, wobble board or BOSU ball to the mix. These tools force your body to work harder to stay balanced, which will engage more muscles in your core than comparable exercises on solid ground. Similarly, you can work your stabilizing muscles harder by doing free weight exercises instead of using a weight machine.

Remember: these strategies will only help you lose weight if you use them correctly. Be sure you know the proper way to use these tools and always ask a trainer if you need assistance.

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