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I've Reached A Plateau. What Can I Do To Jumpstart Fat Burning Again?
It's J.L. here, you know the guy you went to middle school and junior high with. I saw you compete at the Musclemania last year, the Mr. New Orleans, and the Mr. Louisiana; and I wanted to let you know that your physique has definitely improved with every contest. I wouldn't let some stupid judges discourage you from doing something you love; politics are a part of life, just walk it off and come back next year in even better shape. Eventually, there will come a time when they can no longer keep from you that which you rightly deserve. I was aggravated at the Mr. Louisiana also when the two pros told me that to make it big in bodybuilding you have to abuse drugs. I personally will not touch the s#@t, but it is a choice up to the individual; I am not going to look down on somebody who chooses to use. I guess that's another case of those stupid politics, you know where a bodybuilder is judged by sheer mass, paying no attention to the swollen bellies or synthol filled body parts. I don't think the politics are going to get any better as your physique gets better and the contest get bigger; but I guess one can hope.
I was wondering if maybe you could help me with a problem. I am 6'2", 250 lbs; I need to get my waist size down. For the last month and half I have been eating low carbs (under 75gm/day); working out six days a week, and hitting cardio at least 4 times a week (30 min sessions); I have reached a plateau, is there something I can do to maybe jumpstart the fat-burning again, or should I just keep doing what I am doing? Oh yeah I forgot, my calorie intake is at 2600, that is mostly protein with some fat. Thanks for your time Dino, hang in there man.
Man, it is crazy how word gets around. This guy was a good friend of mine in my younger school years. He stumbled across my articles on the Bodybuilding.com website and we reunited through this FAQ page.
J.L., thank you for the kind letter. I also thank you for understanding what we deal with as bodybuilders in general (amateur or professional) from contest to contest. What a crazy coincidence this letter is to me. I was just thinking about this guy over the weekend. Well, I can help you but perhaps it is not as much as you would think. I know you are all saying what, Dino is stumped he cannot help someone? No that is not it! The fact is that he is doing everything right. All too often people are ready to change or throw in the towel when times get rough. Sometimes the best thing to do is ride the storm out and see what happens. In J.L.'s case I can make some great suggestions but he has done his homework and has the jest of it.
Let us begin with the whole "I need to get my waist size down" portion of the question. I need to inform everyone that getting your waist size down can happen. I also need to let you know that sit-ups, crunches, or any other abdominal exercise will not bring your abdominals out or shrink the waistline. So what will shrink the waistline? A person can bring their waistline down when they get on the proper diet and utilize cardiovascular training. J.L. is doing both, but I can see him doing 6 sessions of cardio each week instead of four. By adding two sessions into his regimen he will definitely expend more energy and burn body fat.
Okay so I have increased his cardio regimen, now I want to check out the timing of his diet. J.L. is doing great by only eating 75 grams of carbohydrates or less each day. I want to recommend to J.L. that he take in the bulk of those carbohydrates immediately following his training sessions or in the morning hours. This will give his muscles some replenishment and allow him to burn off the carbohydrates during working hours. Once this is achieved he will begin to pull off of his stored body fat to include his waistline. Notice how I said to include his waistline and not only his waistline. Fat will be pulled from everywhere we cannot target lose fat deposits. Hence my theory of doing sit ups will not bring about a six-pack. The six-pack is there we just need to uncover it by doing our cardio and dieting properly.
You had a great program already in the works. Just keep doing what you are doing and add my recommendations to your program. On a 2600 kilocalorie diet you will lose weight if you follow this program. Just assure that your protein intake remains high and you will be fine. I would not try to jump-start the fat burning process. You actually want fat loss to be rather slow having a max rate of about 2 pounds each week. Losing any more than that and may cause you to experience some valuable tissue loss. You do not want this. J.L. it was nice getting in touch with you and I hope to hear from you again. Train hard!