Weight Fluctuations On Your Fitness Journey | When You Train Different, You Gain Different
When you first start out training, eating cleaner and living an overall healthier lifestyle you see the most gains. You lose weight, body fat, gain muscle and your body makes all of the changes that you’ve always wanted. This is because you are going from being out of shape, to in shape. You are putting in the hard work physically and mentally and your body is rewarding you with rapid progress. Many of us get so caught up in the rapid progress, that we don’t think it will slow down.
Eventually we all get to a plateau if we continue the same training techniques, the same diet techniques and you aren’t changing up workouts. Your body has essentially maxed out it’s gains for the training style you have been doing. There is nothing wrong with this if you’re content with your physique, strength and aren’t concerned with challenging yourself to hit new goals with lifting heavier, getting more athletic or being able to successfully acquire a new calisthenics skill.
But for most of us who train seriously, in our own way we want to keep making progress and moving forward. In order to do so, your diet might not stay the same, your training techniques might not stay the same and your body definitely won’t stay the same. It is the difference between training for maintenance, vs training for progress.
One mistake a lot of us get caught up in is using a scale as the barometer of our fitness success or failures. The deeper you get into fitness training, the less that scale is indicative to your health or fitness level. There are more important factors to use such as performance, how you feel, body fat percentage and what you look like in the mirror..
When I began my calisthenics and intermittent fasting journey I was just trying to get healthy and get into shape. Calisthenics and fasting took me from 6 feet tall 205 lbs all the way down to 169 lbs. This was a drastic difference. My body fat percentage went from around 20% all the way down to around 9% at times.
Although initially I wanted to lose weight along with body fat, getting down to 169 Lbs was not the pinnacle of my fitness journey just because I was at my lightest. As a matter of fact, my lowest body fat percentage was not at 169 lbs, it was probably around 180-83 lbs. I was carrying a lot more muscle and was not as restrictive with my diet around 180-83 lbs.
Now I’m currently around 188 lbs and have been on a different style of training and eating. I switched back to single exercise training from circuit training, I’m doing a lot more weighted workouts, whether that is weighted calisthenics or traditional weightlifting. I have also changed my rep style over the past 6 months, going from higher rep counts at a faster pace to less reps with more time under tension. My legs are noticeably bigger from focusing more on weighted and plyometric leg training. I haven’t been able to do as much cardio the past few months because i have been working from home and on the computer so much daily. Along with this, my diet has been a lot less restrictive. I have been eating out more, socially eating more and just eating a little more in general.
The focus is to not put too much pressure on myself to maintain a number on a scale. For the majority of last year, I tried to stay within 180-183 lbs range because I realize my body stays the leanest at this weight while still maintaining a good amount of muscle, but realistically sometimes our weight is going to fluctuate due to circumstances. For me those circumstances are, working from a computer most for the day, not doing as much walking as I was doing before, not playing full court basketball as much and it being rainy season here in Hawaii the past few months, so I’m not as motivated to get out and take long walks as I am during the dryer times of the year.
This is all fine and we need to be ok with ourselves not being ion peak shape 365 days per year. It’s something I’ve struggled with and I’m sure many other fitness conscious people struggle with as well. The main thing we should stay focused on is progress. I’ve been cleaning up my form, while still working on calisthenics skills, like handstand push ups, muscle ups, back levers..,etc
The fitness Lifestyle is a journey, just like many other aspects of our lives. I’ve made a lot of growth on this journey and continue to make strides. Not only with performance and looks, but the mental aspect as well. Understanding that quality of life comes before looks and mental health runs hand and hand with physical health. Too much restriction, too high of expectations and no wiggle room for fun and pleasure is anti mental health.