I’ve been losing weight now since August of 2009. I even opened up a quick blog to keep myself in check.
I went from 440 to 275 really quick, and went from a size 4xl shirt to a 2xl. But my body couldn’t quite take it all and I fell off the wagon a bit. After going so hard for a little over a year, it was just too much. I’m currently still a 2xl, weighing in at 309 as of today. Most of my fat is in my belly area now.
I’ve been maintaining, but now I’m feeling that drive again to really hit the gym diligently and stay focused on my diet. My question is should I go slow and steady for the course or is it okay to go as hard as I was going before to drop some weight and then slow down to maintain?
I’m currently 5’9”, 27yrs. old, and I exercise 5 days a week with mostly light weight-high reps, and 20min of cardio. I want the loss I have to be safe, but also get the results I’m after. Any real suggestions help.
Thanks in advance! – Jacob
Let me first say congratulations on your success so far. You have a lot to be proud of, so don’t let a few steps back ruin your sprint forward.
When you have a lot of weight to lose, the pounds come off really fast. But the closer you get to your goal weight, the slower progress becomes. Just ask anyone who’s stuck at 20 pounds away from where they want to be. Remember, in the beginning of a program, everything is a new stimulus and challenge for your body, especially if you’ve been somewhat sedentary. But as I’ve said, your body is smart and catches on quick, so without changing up your program or strategic eating, continued loss can be elusive.
Now obviously you’ve had great results, and your workouts sound reasonable. But I would suggest that you change up the weight and reps used and start off with sets in the 8 -12 rep range. You’ll build a bit more muscle, which will help boost your metabolism, and burn off some fat! I’d also suggest you try a circuit of exercises instead of separating your 20 minutes of cardio from strength training. I’ve written many workouts here on the site you can try, many of which provide cardiovascular conditioning without ever stepping on a treadmill or bike. So check out the Workouts Tab and give one of my circuits a try. I’m not suggesting that you don’t ever use high rep training, but since you’ve done that for a year, a change is in order. As a side note, I recommend that trainees NEVER stay on the same exercise program for more than 8 weeks, and that’s pushing it. Variety is key to fitness success.
Now to the question of whether you should proceed slow and steady, or go at it like gangbusters. The answer is BOTH. You can’t operate at a high intensity all the time – your body and brain get tired and it leads to exhaustion. And you can’t just stroll along all the time; it’s boring and it’ll be hard to see big changes. The amount of time you workout, how hard, the level of difficulty, it all ebbs and flows. What your are after is consistency in the gym and in your eating. Believe me, I’m not pointing fingers, but you gained weight back for one reason and it’s not because you stopped going to the gym – you consistently ate too much. Sure, exercise burns calories, keeps you fit and toned, and improves your overall health, but ultimately your diet is what will be the deciding factor in whether you lose the weight you want or not. Your schedule of 5 days per week sounds good, so perhaps you should set parameters to stick to. Promise that you’ll get a workout in at least 3 days per week, but no more than 5 times, for a minimum of 30 minutes, going up to an hour. You can certainly do that.
If you adhere to these guidelines, it will allow you some leeway but what remains constant is that you’re being CONSISTENT. Get it? Don’t get me wrong, there’ll be some weeks where you feel invincible, and others when you literally have to drag yourself to the gym. That’s totally normal and everyone goes through it. But you need to make a firm commitment to yourself and for yourself and never waiver. Lack of adherence to a program is the number one reason people fail. And honestly, 3 – 5 hours PER WEEK of exercise fits into everyone’s schedule. So Jacob, keep your workouts fresh and exciting, stick to the plan, eat well, and you will achieve success. I know it – you can do it!
Let me know how it goes and if any of you out there would like to book a more in-depth consultation with me – just drop me a line via the How To Book button in the sidebar.
And if you have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!
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