Have you hit a strength plateau? If you have, you may need to change your workout program. Heard about alkaline diets? Find out whether eating alkaline is something you should consider. And if you’ve experienced a herniation or other injury and are wondering what to do about your workouts and nutrition, read on.
- Will I lose muscle if I do a lot of running?
- I have a disc herniation – Can I still workout and stay in shape?
- Marc – What is your height, weight, and bf%?
- Should I eat an alkaline diet?
- How can I break a strength plateau?
Question #1 | Will I lose muscle if I do a lot of running?
If you are eating sufficient calories and protein, and lifting as you say, the running should allow you to lose fat since fat is a key energy sourced utilized during long runs. If you started running significant distances without ample calorie intake, muscle loss can definitely happen. Interestingly, 1 pound of muscle contains around 600 calories and fat 3500, so losing muscle can happen pretty easily. If you were not doing any resistance training at all, then “Yes,” you could certainly lose muscle. I recommend tracking your results with weigh-ins, possibly body fat percentage measurements, and making sure your strength levels don’t decrease. This way you can ensure you don’t lose muscle, or at least don’t lose a meaningful amount over time.
– Kwesi (Kwesi Peters, CPT, Community Manager)
Question #2 | I have a disc herniation – Can I still workout and stay in shape?
Unfortunately, I’m facing a discal (spine) hernia. Do you think a good diet could be sufficient to maintain my shape? I have a recovery period for 2 months at least, I need to rest seriously. Maybe I can do pull up bar? Please if you have any recommendation I’ll be glade to hear it.
Thank you – Rabih
Eating clean and maintaining proper nutrition will help you maintain a lower body weight, but unless you include resistance training 2-3x per week you will slowly lose your muscle mass (a process known as sarcopenia) and strength at a rate of about 0.5% every year after age 25, and by as much as 1% after age 60. I would recommend that you speak with a physical therapist who can help you develop an exercise program that won’t aggravate the herniation or cause further injury. You want a program that strengthens your core stabilizers and addresses your muscular imbalances. You should also focus on low-impact exercises such as walking, biking, and swimming, rather than high-impact exercises like jogging, sprinting, or jumping. Because there are so many exercises that compromise the spine and would do more harm than good, you should absolutely get checked out by a physical therapist before recommencing any workout program.
Both good nutrition and proper exercise are important for long-term health and wellness. Working with a certified professional will actually help you strengthen you weaknesses and build a more solid foundation so you can continue to feel young, strong, and healthy for the long-term.
Hope that answers your question. Good luck!
– Kristin (Kristin, CPT, CHC)
Question #3 | Marc – What is your height, weight, and bf%?
Thanks again – Jon
I’m 5’11” and about 170lb with around 7% body fat. My weight doesn’t fluctuate much, at most a few pounds either way. I stay consistent with exercise a few times per week and generally don’t eat much more than my body can burn off.
Thanks for the congratulations regarding the website and videos. Very happy you find them inspirational!
– Marc (Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT)
Question #4 | Should I eat an alkaline diet?
So overall, there are two ways to look at it: 1 – What are your goals? Not being acid-forming is nearly impossible and without it, everyone would be a vegetarian, no one would do any sort of high-intensity exercise (because that is extremely acid-forming) and there would be basically no sports played throughout the world.
2 – The Gerson Method is probably the biggest proponent of not eating any food that is acid-forming and seems to have helped some people battle cancer. The method is based on a number of things, with mainly high amounts of juicing (up to 13 per day) of alkanizing foods from organic sources, along with coffee enemas. These things tend to be extreme in terms of everyday survival and not necessary for the average person.
If your goal is to improve aesthetically, I would lean towards eating a variety of foods from different sources and you should be fine, especially if you include more vegetables into your repertoire. You might want to consider juicing if you’re truly concerned about it.
– John ( John Leyva, CSCS, CPT)
Question #5 | How can I break a strength plateau?
Johan the dilemma could be that you are giving yourself too much time in between muscle groups in order for your body to create the proper adaptation strength wise. For example, you are working your chest and shoulders on Monday, and then you are not lifting again for another seven days. Normally, athletes that exercise during their competitive season workout once a week to maintain the strength they already have, which is why it makes sense that you are experiencing a strength plateau. Rest is an important factor when it comes to building muscle, but consistency is just as important. I would recommend adding another day for each muscle group, or combine more muscle groups into the days you already go to the gym. A couple more items to mention – you can manipulate your rep ranges so you can shoot for 8 reps instead of 12 to start, which will force you to use heavier weight that may help you break the plateau. And second, if you are doing HIIT before a strength workout, that will definitely affect strength levels.
– Kwesi Peters (Kwesi Peters, CPT, Community Manager)