I have been working with a 26Y.O female client since July and while she has gained a lot of strength (7 push ups to 25 for example!) and lost some inches, she’s only down 7 pounds since we’ve been working together.
She’s happy with the strength gains and all the changes she has felt in her body but we are both frustrated with the slow progress of actual weight loss. She is roughly 30lb overweight and where she;d like to be. I see her for 2 one-hour sessions a week doing full body resistance with some cardio bursts. I rotate between 3 types of sessions:
1. Heavy weights, low reps (6-8)
2. Lighter weights, higher reps (12-15)
3. Circuits (10 exercises working every major muscle with cardio thrown in, 1 minute each 3 times through)
On her own she does cardio intervals 30-45 minutes, up to an hour if she’s power walking steady state, and has at least 1 off day to recover. She’s been using FlexPro Meals (http://flexpromeals.com/) and goes out probably 1-2 times a week but is very conscious of what she eats when dining out, has a good grasp on portion control. The breakdown of her meal plan is as follows:
1300-1500 calories per day.
4-6oz protein per meal
2-4oz carbs per meal
1/2 cup of veggies per meal
25-35g protein per meal
20-40g carbs per meal
10-15g fat per meal
She’s had blood work done in the past 8 months with no abnormalities, although he has has sleep apnea she had surgery years ago for that but does have trouble sleeping for long periods of time.
I’d love other’s opinions and suggestions because she is doing so many things right I feel she should be losing faster. Could she not be getting enough calories? She doesn’t feel deprived but 1500 is low with the amount she is active.
Any thoughts are much appreciated!
Good answers. Plateaus in training progress can be frustrating. I think that what I have read is that incorporating high intensity interval training might be a reasonable consideration. I trained my my cross-country skiers with intervals and saw great improvement. It’s hard, but I think quite effective.
I agree with most of what everyone has already said. The one thing that I would suggest is to get away from steady state cardio and implement H.I.I.T or H.I.I.R.T. It will have huge EPOC boost that will contribute to her fat loss goal.
Sounds like you are rocking hard with her. Keep up the great work.
The others made many good points – I really don’t have a lot to add. But it sounds like things are going in the right direction. My question is – why does she feel she is 30 lbs overweight? Is that number based on body fat percentage or just an arbitrary number she wants to get to? Sounds to me like you’re doing a nice job with her – keep up the good work Samantha!
Thank you all for your answers, it’s nice to have another opinion! I brought up sleep apnea because I agree, it’s this unseen thing that’s so hard to actually control. The last time we measured body fat (skindfold with calipers) it was down roughly 4% and that was months ago so I’m hoping the next time we do it the results will reinforce the difference her workouts are making.
I’m happy she does notice the strength gains and I think, Harris, you’re right that we both need a little more patience. Either way she has been really fun to work with and we both enjoy our sessions!
It sounds like you are doing a great job!
I think a key may be the sleep apnea. If she still isn’t sleeping in full sleep cycles her hormones may be out of whack.
Has she had her cortisol, test and pregnenolone levels looked at recently?
Just my opinion but if progress is slow in spite of eating well and working out consistently, I would look at hormone levels.