Beach body in 30 days!
Shredded abs in only 8 minutes!
6 weeks to 15lbs of pure muscle!
Unfortunately the fitness industry is full of misleading, misguided, and sometimes outright untruthful promises designed to prey upon people’s desire to improve their health and fitness.
We are nearing the end of the first month of the new year and passing the half-way point of our Biggest Winner Challenge. I wanted to discuss what real and sustainable change looks like and what is required to see that rate of change.
I know that a lot of you have put in hard work and things started off great, you probably lost some weight, gained some muscle, but now you may be hitting a plateau. It is easy to become frustrated when the rate of change slows down or stalls. I would encourage you to stay focused and stay the course. Perseverance is what separates those who ultimately succeed and those that fall off the wagon only to start over from the beginning in the future.
Fitness, like most things in life, is not linear. It ebbs and flows. Persevere and you will succeed, it just might not be as quick or as straight a path as you had hoped.
My personal weight loss journey was a (wicked) twisted road. First I was 30 years old, father to 2 young daughters and I weighed 200lbs and had lower back issues. I had always struggled to gain weight as a young athlete so this was completely new territory. I decided to change. I got back in the gym, did the same workouts from my youth. I gained muscle mass, but the weight did not budge.
After 6 months I came to the realization that my workouts and diet needed an overhaul. I did a little research and committed to an aggressive program. I’ll spare the details, but the first 2 weeks were awful and unsustainable. Once I found a balance and moderated my approach I was able to feel great while losing weight. The weight did not come off in a linear fashion. It was like a stair step. 200 to 192. Stall. 192 to 187. Stall. Eventually, 9 months or so later I was down to 175, what I weighed when I graduated high school. I share this to let you know I have been there. I know what that struggle feels like, and it is what led to me becoming a fitness coach.
Below are statistics from our friends at Precision Nutrition and their research from over 100,000 clients. You’ll see rates of change for weight loss and muscle gain and what it takes to maintain that rate of change. Hopefully this will give you perspective and the ability to stay the course!
Realistic rates of fat loss per week:
Progress % Body Weight Men Women Requirement
Extreme 1-1.5% 2-3lb 1.65-2.5lb 90-100% Consistency
Reasonable 0.5-1% 1-2lb 0.8-1.65lb 70-85% Consistency
Comfortable <0.5% <1lb <0.8lb 50-65% Consistency
Realistic rates of muscle gain per month:
Fitness level Men Women
Beginner 1.5-2.5lb 0.65-1lb
Intermediate .75-1.25lb .325-.5lb
Advanced .375-.625lb .1625-.25lb
Again, these are trend lines and not linear progressions. Gender, age, fitness level, health factors and host of other variables will affect your personal rate of change. The biggest take away that I see from this research is that you do not have to be perfect or anywhere near it to see a sustainable rate of change over the long term. If you can be consistent 70-85% of the time you will see tremendous progress!
“Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose”- Josh Shipp
“Stay the course. When thwarted try again: harder: smarter. Persevere relentlessly.”- John Wooden