Weight Loss Stories: Women 50+ Who have Lost Over 50 Lbs.

What Really Happens After Losing 50lbs Over 50

Image of a trainer at The Perfect Workout showing a member their incredible results

Women’s bodies are constantly changing and creating the desired kind of change after 50 can feel extremely challenging.

In this feature, we are highlighting (and totally celebrating!) a few of the amazing 50+ women who have lost 50 pounds or more. Here are their stories of weight loss and the unexpected life changes that came long with it.

1. You Get to Buy New Clothes

Foot issues over the years and a diet that wasn’t always the best left Athletic Director and P.E. teacher Lisa Treen, 52, feeling unhappy with her weight.

“I needed to get back on track. I wanted to go from fat to fit.”

Since she began slow-motion strength training in our Huntington Beach Studio:

  • Lisa dropped 77 pounds!
  • She’s gone from a size 24 to a 14
  • She’s gained so much strength that now she can lift the entire stack on the leg press!

“I feel awesome! It’s really good to be able to buy new clothes.”

2. Keeping up with loved ones (dogs included) becomes much easier

When Lynda was playing on the floor with three dogs that she walks, she couldn’t get up!
“That was a big wake-up call.” she says.

Lynda has tried water aerobics, hot yoga, and regular gyms. They didn’t work for her, and she put on 75 pounds and lost strength.

Lynda is thrilled with her results from strength training in our West Plano studio:

  • She lost an inch off her arms as they toned up
  • She’s down 50 pounds, with a goal to lose 25 more
  • Walking the dogs uphill isn’t a problem anymore, now that she is leg pressing 400 pounds!

“I don’t feel like I’m 62. I can’t even begin to say how good I feel!”

3. You No Longer Feel Like Your Body Is Holding You Back

Nancy started training at The Perfect Workout because she wanted to lose weight. “I was considerably heavier. And I also had some health issues that I wanted to deal with in terms of endurance. I wanted to be able to do more.”

As a Girl Scout Troop Leader and avid traveler, it was important for Nancy to stay physically active. But, she had some nagging issues getting in the way…

“I wanted to be able to do more hiking with my Girl Scout troop. Because I have problems with my knee, I could go uphill, but not downhill. And when we went on our trip to Switzerland, I had a hard time at the higher elevations, especially keeping up with the group.

There were things that I was afraid to try, because of my size and my bad coordination. I was not really comfortable with rappelling and doing other fun stuff that other people got to do.”

Over the past 5 years, Nancy has achieved all the goals she set when she first joined The Perfect Workout. Remember that “bad knee” that prevented her from hiking and rappelling? It’s no longer holding her back…

“I'm lifting 300 pounds with my legs. Even though I have a bad knee. That's my biggest brag!”

In total, Nancy has lost about 50 pounds. In addition to losing weight, she’s increased her lean muscle mass and bone strength. Both of which will help her maintain her fat loss, stamina, and strength for years to come.

“To me The Perfect Workout really is perfect. I feel like I'm a lot stronger. I’ve got better coordination and balance. And I really changed the way my body looks.

It's really wonderful.”

Read Nancy’s Full Story Here.

4. Your Doctor Might Finally Take You Off Medications

Bettye, 62, had been losing energy, losing strength, and gaining weight for about five years, starting a couple years before she retired. She had done traditional weight lifting at gyms in the past, but knew she didn’t have the self-discipline or desire to do that again.

Since she started at The Perfect Workout’s Colleyville studio, Bettye:

  • Lost a total of 76 pounds
  • Lost 12 inches off her waist, 11¾ inches off her hips, and 8½ inches off her thighs
  • Regained range of motion and strength in her lower body after hip replacement surgery
    Got muscle definition and vitality back
  • Her doctor reduced her blood pressure medications twice, and now she’s not on any medications at all!

“I’d hate to think where I’d be without The Perfect Workout. What it does for your body is amazing!”

5. You Gain the Body Confidence You’ve Always Wanted

“I was getting pretty dumpy, and knew I needed to lose weight.” Since Nancy started strength training at our Mission Valley studio and working with our nutrition coach to lose fat and lower her cholesterol:

  • She’s lost 52 pounds
  • Dropped from a pants size 18W to size 6
  • Has gone off of her cholesterol medication after improving from 234 to 119
  • Is able to leg press 260 pounds
  • Can see her biceps for the first time, and has a ton of confidence

While Nancy is 67 years old, her “body age” is only 48!

“I feel so much better about the way I look and my posture. It’s so much fun to go clothes shopping now.”

6. You Completely Reshape Your Body

Debbie was never a fan of strength training. When she went to the gym, she’d make herself do a ton of reps of low weights or just focus on cardio. None of those ever gave her the results she was looking for. Plus, it consumed a big part of her day and she couldn’t fit it into her busy work schedule.

After seeing an ad for The Perfect Workout in her local paper a couple years in a row, Debbie decided to throw herself into something new.

“I was enamored with the idea of a workout that was only 20 minutes, twice a week! After coming in for a session at the Laguna Niguel studio, I knew this would be a good fit. I was able to go to my workout, run errands after, and get back home in an hour total! I love the supportive environment and focused attention I receive at The Perfect Workout. I learned how my muscles repair themselves, and they made sure I wasn’t overextending. It logically made sense to me.”

Before coming to The Perfect Workout, Debbie was diagnosed with osteopenia. She needed a workout that would strengthen her bones and wouldn’t worsen her health issues. After getting into her slow-motion strength training routine, she went in for a doctor’s visit, where they told her she was far, far ahead of where her bone density numbers would have been if she hadn’t been doing slow-motion strength training!

Not only did The Perfect Workout make Debbie stronger, it also helped her lose weight! In her first two years, she lost 90 lbs. from sticking to her 20 minutes, twice a week regimen and improving her nutrition.

“At 60 years old, I have a much more defined figure, I look younger than I am, and I have a tiny waist!

I’ve also gained better balance! I’ve always been a clutz, and 8 years ago I fell several times and sprained my right wrist. Now, I’m still a clutz, but I don’t go down! The Perfect Workout helps me stay up.”

A big reason why Debbie is so dedicated to her training is the support system in the studio. “The Perfect Workout trainers are all incredibly encouraging when I lose more weight or meet my strength goals, and they never judge me for my health issues. They’re always happy to talk through my health with me!”

While losing over 50 pounds, or losing weight at all may not be at the top of everyone’s goal list know this- you’re never too late to change your body and your abilities. Better health, better well-being and increased confidence can happen for you too!

Looking to make a change? Start with a FREE workout at The Perfect Workout.

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you'd like help learning how to implement these new habits alongside your workouts, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected] to get started.

Featured Trainer Merry Konardi

image of Merry Konardi as the Featured Trainer

Merry used to own a gymnastics gym for kids which laid the foundation for her coaching career, but it was her husband’s support and mom’s injury that became the catalyst for helping people improve their health. Here is her story…

“In 2014 I was 30 pounds overweight and ridden with chronic inflammation all over my body. When my husband took me to the gym one day and said, “We are going to start weight training.”

I was hesitant. I thought, ‘I am a gymnast. I don't weight train!’

He actually coached me through some exercises, and coached me to lift slowly. Even though it made sense to do it slowly after experiencing it, I realized I couldn’t lift with fast speed anyway because it hurt. It hurt my elbow. It hurt my shoulder. It hurt everywhere.

I found out quickly that slow-motion strength training wasn’t just a preference, it was a necessity for me.

In just three months, I started seeing results. I lost my first 15 pounds, just two months later, and the weight just came off. And my inflammation was under control.”

Image of Trainer, Merry, coaching Carelle on the compound row

Back in 2019, Merry’s mom was traveling when she experienced a scary fall. She came back home with a busted knee and couldn’t walk up the stairs. Merry became her daily caregiver, helped her with physical therapy, and began doing exercises with her at home.

“The transformation was amazing. Within a week, she started walking and was so happy! And it was just so gratifying. I thought, if I can help more people have this kind of experience, it'd be such a rewarding career.”

Merry began working toward a Personal Training certification and ultimately found The Perfect Workout – a home to help people 1-on-1 and do it with a method she wholeheartedly believed in.

“Every time I finish training somebody, I always feel that I achieved something and that’s very important.

One of our members, Carelle, is a perfect example of that. Currently, we are working with a big ceiling, which is her vertigo. Many times the intensity of the workout makes her feel nauseous.

So, I have to find a balance with different exercises, and it changes every time. But we work together and she comes here and trains hard. It's a challenge, but each session feels like an achievement.

Any time I feel like someone has had a successful workout with me, it's gratifying. And it doesn't make me feel that this is just another job. At 50 years old, that’s important at this point in my life.”

Merry Konardi
San Mateo, CA
Trainer at The Perfect Workout

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How Much Does My Diet Affect My Workout Results?

How Much Does My Diet Affect My Workout Results at The Perfect Workout?

How Much Does My Diet Affect My Workout Results at The Perfect Workout?

image of a female preparing a healthy meal

You may have heard the phrase, “you can eat Twinkies all day and lose weight, as long as you’re eating the right amount of calories.”

While there's a glimmer of truth there, there’s so much more to what you eat and drink and how it affects your fitness results than just calories in vs. calories out.

Eating the right foods can make all the difference to your results at The Perfect Workout. Whether you're attempting to gain weight, lose weight, gain strength, or just improve your general fitness, eating a balanced diet rich in macro and micronutrients is an important part of any fitness plan.

In this article we cover why your diet matters, the simple equation for losing or gaining weight, what to eat before and after a workout, and more!

Jump to a Topic
Macronutrients
Calories In vs. Calories Out
What to Eat Before & After a Workout
Your Diet Should be Sustainable
Summary

Couple preparing vegetables for a healthy meal

Macronutrients

Your diet is thought to account for up to 80% of your fitness results.

The food we eat provides the energy we need for daily function but it also provides nutrients that are essential for growth, repair and maintenance of the body.

The type and quantity of food we eat can affect how much energy we use and how much fat we store. Understanding macronutrients can help with that.

Protein

Protein is one of the three macronutrients and one that gets a lot of praise in the health and fitness world.

Protein helps build muscle and keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time than other nutrients. Consider choosing lean sources of protein, such as chicken breast and tuna, over fatty meats such as hamburger patties or bacon.

Protein is especially important to focus on at The Perfect Workout because we are heavily focused on building lean muscle. In order to increase your muscle (and strength) it's important to consume a sufficient amount of protein to grow your muscles.

See our article on How Much Protein is Enough?

Carbohydrates

Carbs get a bad rap, but in fact we need carbs to sustain energy levels. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of energy for your body's cells, tissues, and organs.

A good rule of thumb is to choose whole foods such as vegetables and fruits and whole grains, while keeping refined grains and sugars to a minimum.

Fat

Dietary fat also gives your body energy and also helps to absorb vitamins.

Fat has twice as many calories per gram as proteins or carbohydrates, making it easy to gain weight with an excess of fat in your diet – so it's helpful to be aware of your fat consumption.

Consider choosing fat sources such as avocado, nuts, nut butters, and coconut oils.

Unless you already have specific macro goals to achieve each day, it might be best to focus on hitting just a protein goal, while staying within a caloric goal range… we’ll get into that later!

If you aren’t already seeing the results you’d like and want a better understanding of your own personal diet, we suggest observing how much of each macronutrient you are consuming on a regular basis. From there, you can alter your diet to better reach your goals.

Image of a food scale with food and weights nearby

Calories In vs. Calories Out

Although we don’t recommend solely focusing on calorie counting, the formula for losing or gaining weight is actually quite simple:

You burn calories by exercising and by simply being alive. You also burn more calories with additional activity. The more lean body mass (muscle tissue) and activity overall, the more calories burned.

By eating more calories than you burn, you gain weight.

By burning more calories than you eat, you lose weight.

If you want to lose weight, then reduce your calorie intake by increasing your activity levels (burning off more calories) or reducing both your calorie intake and increases in activity (burning off fewer calories).

In general, it takes 3,500 calories to make 1lb (0.45kg) of fat. If you reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day then you should lose about 1lb every week without making any changes to your exercise routine.

But there are many other factors that affect your body composition (how fat vs. how lean your body is). These include genes, hormones and the amount of physical activity you do — all of which can be influenced by what you eat and drink.

The type of food you eat also matters. A high-protein diet may help build muscle mass and preserve lean body mass during weight loss, while a high-carbohydrate diet may lead to more fat loss but less muscle gain.

In general, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, focus on eating whole foods in moderation rather than relying on packaged foods or fad diets that promise quick results with little effort required.

Protein shake, banana, protein powder, and protein bar

What to Eat Before and After a Workout

Fueling and refueling your body with the right nutrients after workouts will help maximize fitness gains.

What to Eat Before a Workout

If you have time before your workout, try eating foods that are high in carbohydrates or protein because they will give you energy for exercise.

Here are some pre-workout snacks to try:

  • Banana
  • Oats
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Smoothie

What to Eat After Your Workout

Fueling up after a workout can help your muscles recover faster so they can get stronger. It's more important to hit your total daily protein intake than it is to have specific amounts of protein within a “window” of time after a workout. However, shooting to consume a high protein snack within about 30 minutes after exercise can be a helpful approach to getting in enough protein. 

Carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables are ideal post-workout snacks because they replenish glycogen stores that were depleted during exercise. Protein helps rebuild damaged muscle tissue as well as repair small tears – we suggest prioritizing protein after your sessions.

Here are some post-workout snacks to try:

  • Whey protein shake
  • Vegan protein shake
  • Deli turkey wrap
  • Chicken breast and vegetables
  • Salmon and sweet potato
  • Tuna salad and crackers
  • Cottage cheese and fruits

If you'd like help building these new healthy habits schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected]com to get started

image of a trainer giving a member some water

How Much Water Do I Drink?

Most people vastly underestimate the amount of water they should be drinking on a regular basis. The human body consists of about 60% of water which is a glass we need to keep full.

On average, especially for fat loss, a typical day you should consume half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 160 lbs.- you’d ideally want to drink 80oz of water daily.

Adequate amounts of water helps to:

  • Lubricate our joints so that everything moves & runs smoothly
  • Regulate body temperature which can be helpful in burning more fat
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Protects organs & tissue
  • It helps clear our bladder and flushes out toxins in our system

It can take some time for your body to adjust to this, as well as planning on your part. Yes, we know you’ll be taking a few extra trips to the restroom, but think of it as your body’s way of getting rid of excess toxins and even fat! It’s worth it.

Your Diet Should Be Sustainable

It can be tempting to crash diet or make drastic changes in order to reach a goal faster. But we’d like to encourage you to NOT take the route. In order to make lasting change, you want the way you eat (and exercise) to be sustainable. Here are a few reasons why:

Most people who take rigorous approaches to changing their habits lose their progress in less than six months.

If you're struggling with weight gain or loss, consider making small changes in what and how much you eat and drink, rather than drastic changes all at once. You should be able to see results from these gradual changes over time.

Avoid eating too close to bedtime as this can make it difficult for your body to digest all those calories and may keep you awake during the night, affecting your sleep quality.

Also avoid processed foods such as white breads, pastries, cakes and biscuits which tend to be high in fat and sugar but low in nutritional value. If possible replace these with wholegrain alternatives.

Image of a Perfect Workout member who just hiked Mt Machu Picchu

Be AWARE of what you're eating and drinking if you want to get the most out of your workouts and fitness program.

While no diet is the same for everyone, the right diet for you will have a tremendous influence on your fitness results. If you want to see results, eat the right foods for your goal, choose nutrient-dense choices and keep foods with extra saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars to a minimum.

For weight gain, eat more calories than you burn. For weight loss, eat fewer calories than you burn. Fueling and refueling with the right nutrients after workouts will help maximize fitness gains. Be aware of what you are eating and drinking and customize your diet as necessary depending on your goals.

What you eat and drink absolutely affects your results, but it can be an experiment to find what works best for you. Try some of the suggestions above and tweak your approach as needed.

Need help with all of this? Speak with a Nutrition Coach today to see how we can help.

  • Darden, E. (2008). Superhydration. In A flat stomach ASAP. essay, Pocket Books.
  • Gibbs, B.B., Kinzel, L.S., Gabriel, K.P., Chang, Y.F., & Kuller, L.H. (2012). Short- and long-term eating habit modification predict weight change in overweight, post-menopausal women: results from the WOMAN Study. Journal of Academic Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(9), 1347-1355.
  • Holesh JE, Aslam S, Martin A. Physiology, Carbohydrates. [Updated 2021 Jul 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459280/
  • Kerksick, Chad M et al. “International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 14 33. 29 Aug. 2017, doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4
  • Schoenfeld, B. J., Aragon, A. A., & Krieger, J. W. (2013). The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 53.

How to Stay in Shape After Menopause

How to Stay in Shape After Menopause. Post Menopause Health & Fitness

How to Stay in Shape After Menopause. Post Menopause Health & Fitness

image of a woman stretching before a workout

Staying in shape is challenging enough but tack on sleep struggles, memory loss, anxiety, muscle loss, and weight gain…

Sounds like an uphill battle, right?

This condition is actually something more than half of the population goes through!

It’s menopause.

In this article, we dive into a few simple, proven methods for staying in shape through and after menopause. If you’re a woman who wants to avoid experiencing the many negative impacts that menopause can have, keep scrolling.

Jump to Topic:
Strength Training and Menopause
Hot Flashes
Calorie Deficit
High Protein Diet

Menopause is defined as a “biological process,” but it might also be appropriate to describe it as a “challenge” or “health issue.” Menopause produces a number of stressful outcomes, including sleep disturbances, hot flashes, increased urination, poor memory, and anxiety (Leite et al., 2010).

Following menopause, women are susceptible to a number of fitness- and health-related issues. Postmenopause, women are also likely to gain weight, lose muscle, lose bone, and are more likely to develop heart disease (Leite et al., 2010).

Other health concerns at this time are the worsening of a few heart disease risk factors, including the rise in insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes), blood glucose, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

Unfortunately, menopause isn’t avoidable. However, the issues following menopause are avoidable.

Strength training is an especially important part of maintaining health after menopause. There are several reasons why strength training helps.

Image of a happy woman about to lead a workout class

How Strength Training Can Help Post-Menopause

Health and fitness

As mentioned, menopause is often followed by a loss of muscle, bone, weight gain, and a number of health issues. Strength training reverses all of these trends. Specifically, postmenopausal women can gain muscle, strengthen bones, lose fat, and increase metabolism (fighting against weight gain) with strength training (Leite et al., 2010; Watson et al., 2017).

Weight lifting is also shown to combat all of the health concerns, leading to healthier levels of blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, and insulin resistance. As a whole, strength training can help women reduce their risk of developing heart disease.

Hot flashes

Hot flashes are known for causing lost sleep, nausea, headaches, anxiety, headaches and weakness (Berin et al., 2019). Frequency varies, but some women can have them as often as every hour!

While this is not a commonly known benefit, strength training can actually reduce hot flash episodes (Berin et al., 2019). One study showed that twice-weekly strength training led to a 44% decrease in hot flashes! Strength training raises endorphin levels, which might fight against some of the internal changes that occur before a hot flash.

We know strength training is important, but nutrition is also a huge piece of your wellbeing. If you'd like help  learning how to implement these new habits, schedule a Nutrition Intro session today! Email [email protected]com to get started.

Other Ways to Maintain Post-Menopausal Health

Exercise is most effective for post-menopausal fitness when combined with dietary changes. Specifically, exercise and diet changes combined can maximize fat loss, maintaining or building muscle, and enhancing measures of health (Deibert et al., 2007; Foster-Schubert et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2016). Specifically, two approaches are especially helpful.

Calorie Deficit

Reducing calories is an effective way to lose fat and maintain a healthy level of body fat and inflammation (Foster-Schubert et al., 2012; Van Gemert et al., 2016). When combined with exercise, calorie control is an effective way to specifically reduce midsection body fat, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, and blood pressure (Deibert et al., 2007).

In research, a few strategies were effective for reducing calorie intake. Among the effective strategies were working with nutrition coaches, tracking their own behaviors (food journaling, etc.), learning strategies for changing behavior, using meal replacement supplements in place of two meals per day, receiving social support and accountability from others, and documenting weekly weigh-ins (Deibert et al., 2007; Foster-Schubert et al., 2012; Van Gemert et al., 2016).

High Protein Diet

Calorie restriction that includes a low daily intake of protein led to a large amount of muscle loss (Smith et al., 2016). Eating a “high-protein diet” while restricting calories can greatly reduce the amount of muscle lost during weight loss (Smith et al., 2016). A desirable protein intake for maintaining muscle during weight loss or weight maintenance is around 0.7-1.0 grams/lb of body weight per day.

For example, if you weigh 200 lbs and your goal is to maintain that weight, you should consume 140-200 grams of protein per day.

Other Ways to Maintain Post-Menopausal Health

If no intentional actions are taken, women might gain weight, lose muscle, and experience a big decline in health during menopause. Thankfully, a few actions can help women stay in shape during and after menopause.

Strength training helps women maintain muscle, avoid weight gain, and reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Eating in a calorie deficit, using strategies such as working with a coach and using a food journal, can lead to fat loss or maintain your desired weight. Combining exercise and calorie restriction can ensure great health, including maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood glucose.

Menopause can wreak havoc on a woman’s body, but that havoc is not inevitable. Strength training and calorie-reducing habits can lead to great health and fitness well beyond menopause.

  • Berin, E., Hammar, M., Lindblom, H., Lindh-Astrand, L, Ruber, M., & Spetz Holm, A.C. (2019). Resistance training for hot flushes in postmenopausal women: a randomised controlled trial. Maturitas, 126, 55-60.
  • Deibert, P., König, D., Vitolins, M. Z., Landmann, U., Frey, I., Zahradnik, H. P., & Berg, A. (2007). Effect of a weight loss intervention on anthropometric measures and metabolic risk factors in pre-versus postmenopausal women. Nutrition Journal, 6(1), 1-7.
  • Foster Schubert, K. E., Alfano, C. M., Duggan, C. R., Xiao, L., Campbell, K. L., Kong, A., … & McTiernan, A. (2012). Effect of diet and exercise, alone or combined, on weight and body composition in overweight to obese postmenopausal women. Obesity, 20(8), 1628-1638.
  • Leite, R.D., Prestes, J., Pereira, G.B., Shiguemoto, G.E., & Perez, S.E. (2010). Menopause: highlighting the effects of resistance training. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 31, 761-767.
  • Smith, G. I., Yoshino, J., Kelly, S. C., Reeds, D. N., Okunade, A., Patterson, B. W., … & Mittendorfer, B. (2016). High-protein intake during weight loss therapy eliminates the weight-loss-induced improvement in insulin action in obese postmenopausal women. Cell Reports, 17(3), 849-861.
  • Van Gemert, W. A., May, A. M., Schuit, A. J., Oosterhof, B. Y., Peeters, P. H., & Monninkhof, E. M. (2016). Effect of weight loss with or without exercise on inflammatory markers and adipokines in postmenopausal women: the SHAPE-2 trial, a randomized controlled trial. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, 25(5), 799-806.
  • Watson, S.L., Weeks, B.K., Weis, L.J., Harding, A.T., Horan, S.A., & Beck, B.R. (2017). High-intensity resistance training and impact training improves bone mineral density and physical function in postmenopausal women wiht osteopenia and osteoporosis: the LIFTMOR Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3284

Member Feature Georgette Silver

Member Feature Georgette Silver

Member Feature Georgette Silver

Georgette enjoying a hike

Georgette, 68, found herself 20 pounds heavier as a result of the pandemic. She wanted to get in shape for her daughter's wedding, but with a slough of orthopedic problems, Georgette knew she couldn't do traditional high impact exercises like running or jumping. She found an exercise method that would be ideal for her joints. The only thing she needed was someone to help her do them safely. Here is her story…

“Because of the pandemic, I'd become very sedentary. I’d put on about 20 pounds and my body stiffened up. I have osteoporosis, arthritis, my left knee is bone-on-bone, I've had a rotator cuff repair on the left shoulder, acromioplasty, and a hip replacement.

I've always been into fitness, but I needed to go easy, and exercises that are very high impact are not appropriate at this point in my life.

My goal was to exercise without hurting myself, and to build muscular infrastructure so that I could put off surgery as long as possible.

When I came to The Perfect Workout, I knew this was the workout for me.

I like that it is very medically oriented. I feel like the trainers really care about me as a person and don’t want me to get hurt, but still see how far they can push me.

It's very encouraging. If I were doing this alone, I don't think I could do it.”

image of Georgette preparing a healthy meal

Increasing her ability to move was a big goal for Georgette, and since joining The Perfect Workout, she’s been able to see and feel significant improvements.

“The Perfect Workout has given me more range of motion. I have a lot more range of motion on my legs, (especially that left knee) I can now extend all the way out which I couldn’t when I started. I have noticed that my arms and core have become a lot stronger too.

I love to go hiking, dancing and taking my dog for walks, and this workout has given me more endurance, muscular strength, and balance to do those things.

Since joining The Perfect Workout, I feel much stronger and better mentally and physically… It's my place to go.”

Image of a trainer showing Georgette her progress chart

Muscle Growth & Strength

With her daughter’s wedding coming up, Georgette had ordered a designer dress to wear. But when she put it on, it was too tight. Instead of letting the dress out to make it bigger, Georgette took this as an opportunity to lose the 20 pounds she gained.

“Not only did I lose those 20 pounds, [which took her 6 months] but I gained so much muscle [and reshaped her body] I had to have the dress taken in! It was a one-shoulder style and one arm was totally bare. People said, ‘Where did you get those muscles? You are ripped!’

To have that compliment was amazing.

I feel like The Perfect Workout is a gift. If you have an orthopedic issue, arthritis, are diabetic, or have some other issues, that doesn't mean you can't workout. This is a safe environment where you feel that people really care about you. And that's the gift I want to pass on.”

image of a female posing for a photo in the woods

“Since coming to The Perfect Workout, I feel like my whole life has changed.

I’m 68 years old and I look in the mirror and think, ‘Wow. I can't believe my body looks like this.”

I'm so hopeful for the future. I'm engaged and I'm looking forward to getting married. There are so many wonderful things to look forward to in my life. And I really credit The Perfect Workout for propelling me forward to be able to do all these amazing things.

Georgette Silver, 68
Southwest San Jose
Member at The Perfect Workout

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How to Overcome a Workout Plateau

How to Get Over a Workout Plateau

How to Get Over a Workout Plateau

Image of a senior woman lifting two blue dumbbells

Have you ever been on a roll with your workout progress and then all of the sudden it comes to a halt?

Your weights are no longer going up.
You can’t seem to beat your times.
You’ve stopped losing weight

You’ve likely hit a plateau.

Regardless of the benefits you’re seeking, it’s likely that you’ll hit a plateau in your progress within a few weeks or months. This plateau might resemble slowed progress, no progress, or even a slight regression.

Don’t be concerned. Plateaus are expected.

In this article, we discuss what workout plateaus are, when they are likely to happen, and how to overcome them.

JUMP TO TOPIC:
What is a Plateau & Have You Hit One?
Are Workout Plateaus Normal? Are Plateaus Bad?
Types of Plateaus
How to Overcome a Plateau
Key Takeaways

image of a rack of weights

What is a Plateau & Have You Hit One?

You might be thinking about how quickly you were able to increase resistance on exercises within your first couple of months and now that isn’t the case- have you hit a plateau?

First things first – Progress isn’t linear.

While your body will generally progress in the direction you’re seeking, progress doesn’t happen consistently in a predictable fashion.

Our pursuit of goals alternates between periods of progress and periods of little to no progress. The latter periods are often referred to as “plateaus.”

Plateaus are a temporary or permanent stalling of progress. They are most commonly associated with weight loss, but they are also seen in other exercise-related benefits. These benefits include gaining strength and muscle.

Image of a TPW workout graph
This graph depicts real member progress. Notice how her overall strength trends upward over time, despite having ebbs and flows.

Are Workout Plateaus Normal? Are Plateaus Bad?

Think of your progress like your driving speed when you’re on a highway. When you enter a highway through the onramp, you are not driving very fast. You rapidly accelerate to reach a desired speed, but then your rate of acceleration decreases to a point where you maintain a normal driving speed.

Your progress works the same way. Your body progresses at a fast rate early on and slows as it reaches its peak.

Plateaus seem like negative events, but they are – in most cases – your body settling into a new “normal” range. Your body is finding a new preferred level of strength and muscle mass.

This is a good thing when considering the levels of strength and muscle that your body maintained before strength training. You may not have reached your desired target (yet), but you are maintaining a new peak.

Types of Plateaus

Plateaus occur in various areas of exercise and fitness results. Depending on the goal you’re seeking, there’s a different timeline for when you can expect to see a plateau.

Strength gains.

People consistently gain strength for the first year of a strength training program (Steele et al., 2021). The rate of strength gain is noticeable in the first six months. Around 6-8 months into a strength training program, people start gaining strength at a slower rate. Strength gains plateau between years one and two, and then progress is scattered after that point (Steele, 2021).

This might sound concerning, that most of your strength gains are in the first year of training. However, consider the alternative: losing strength (and muscle…and bone density…and a slowing metabolism).

Strength training is still “doing its job” of reversing the trends of aging…it’s just more focused on maintenance than progress after a certain point. Don’t worry, we’ve got information on how to overcome this plateau… keep reading!

Muscle growth.

Similar to strength gains, muscle growth should occur consistently and be noticeable for the first six months (Counts et al., 2017). Between six months and one year, the rate of growth slows down. The first plateau for muscle growth is likely expected within that time frame.

Muscle growth should continue after that point, as it’s expected that people still gain muscle in their second and possibly even their third years of training (Counts et al., 2017).

Weight loss.

Perhaps the most popularly discussed plateau is the weight loss plateau. When seeking fat loss, people often lose large amounts of weight in the first 8-12 weeks (Sarwan & Rehman, 2021). After 4-6 months, people tend to hit longer plateaus and, in some cases, start regaining weight.

Even in those first 2-3 months, weight loss isn’t constant.

These can happen due to many reasons: metabolism slows, lack of adherence to diet changes, and eating more overall as a result of changes in hunger cravings, among other reasons (Sarwan & Rehman, 2021).

Before/After picture of a man's results after trying The Perfect Workout

How to Overcome a Plateau

Progress ebbs and flows. Hitting a plateau is inevitable. Remaining at the plateau is within your control, though. How can you overcome a plateau?

Strength and muscle growth plateaus. You may naturally progress past these plateaus. Regardless, if you want to increase your chances of making progress again soon, try one or more of the following approaches:

  • Workout changes. If you haven’t increased your weights in a while, add more resistance. As little as 1-2.5 pounds could help. Also, try increasing your workout frequency (Figueiredo, Freitas de Salles, & Trajano, 2017). If you’re training once per week, switch to two sessions a week.
  • Protein intake. Eating sufficient protein on a daily basis enhances muscle and strength gains from a strength training routine (Phillips & Loon, 2011). The opposite is true, too: eating too little protein can limit your results. Look at where you can add protein, through real food sources or via supplements. Ideally, people who strength train should eat a minimum grams per day total that equals their body weight multiplied by 0.7. (Example: 200 lb person x 0.7 = 140 grams of protein per day).
  • Creatine supplementation. Creatine has a number of benefits, including enhancing strength and muscle growth. Taking at least five grams per day pre- or post-workout helps enhance strength training results (Antonio & Ciccone, 2013).

Weight loss plateau. Weight loss plateaus differ from a plateau in muscle-based measures as weight loss is mostly a matter of nutrition habits. The following are possible solutions (Silvestro & Braun, 2021):

  • Keep a food journal. This will provide more self-awareness around eating habits (and potential areas for improvement).
  • Strength train. Strength training increases metabolism for up to three days after a workout. If you’re not already strength training, consider adding 1-2 workouts per week.
  • Reduce alcohol intake. Not only does alcohol contain calories, but drinking alcohol also leads people to eat more.

Key Takeaways

Again, progress isn’t linear. Unfortunately, you will not consistently lose weight or gain strength and muscle. The plateaus aren’t necessarily negative, as your body is holding the progress you’ve already made.

To continue to gain strength or muscle, increase the weights you’re lifting, your workout frequency, or add creatine or more protein. For weight loss, increase your workout frequency (if applicable), start a food journal, or decrease your alcohol intake.

Plateaus are inevitable but temporary stopping points.

To work with a trainer to get over a plateau (or begin strength training altogether!), start by booking a FREE introductory workout.

  • Antonio, J. & Ciccone, V. (2013). The effect of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(36).
  • Counts, B. R., Buckner, S. L., Mouser, J. G., Dankel, S. J., Jessee, M. B., Mattocks, K. T., & Loenneke, J. P. (2017). Muscle growth: To infinity and beyond?. Muscle & Nerve, 56(6), 1022-1030.
  • Figueiredo, V.C., Freitas de Sallas, B., Trajano, G.S. (2017). Volume for muscle hypertrophy and health outcomes: The most effective variable in resistance training. Sports Medicine, 48(3), 499-505.
  • Gelman, R., Berg, M., & Ilan, Y. (2022). A Subject-Tailored Variability-Based Platform for Overcoming the Plateau Effect in Sports Training: A Narrative Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(3), 1722.
  • Phillips, S.M. & Van Loon, L.J. (2011). Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of Sports Science, 29(1), S29-38.
  • Sarwan, G., & Rehman, A. (2021). Management of weight loss plateau. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
  • Silvestro, S., & Ashley Braun, R. D. Weight loss plateau: why it happens and 7 ways to get past it.
  • Steele, J., Fisher, J., Giessing, J., Androulakis-Korakakis, P., Wolf, M., Kroeske, B., & Reuters, R. (2021). Long-term time-course of strength adaptation to minimal dose resistance training: Retrospective longitudinal growth modeling of a large cohort through training records. SportRxiv.