Fouad Abiad: Breaking Plateaus

Tips to bust through a stagnant program!
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Flex fans I have three more weeks to go before I get back into the gym and blast through old barriers. I am three and a half weeks into my treatment and rest phase and I go back on July 8th for my clearance to train. I’m counting the weeks and days, can’t wait to get back to the gym…pain free!

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I figured since this week I don’t really have anything new to report I would touch on a topic that has been hitting my email over and over again…being stagnant in your programs.

There is no easy fix for this and one of the first things I can stress is whatever you do to try to figure it out you have to do it for more than one week to really know. I suggest sticking to a new plan or routine for at least four weeks before you can really tell how it’s affecting your body.

Nutrition:

The first place to look in your program is your nutrition. Are your carbs too high? Is your protein too low? Are you getting in any healthy fats? These are all things I look for first because generally speaking one or more is usually the problem.

Carbs – The culprit here usually is that they are too low. Most new bber’s are concerned with protein intake to build muscle but they forget the importance of carbs for a pump, sparing protein you’ve eaten and just overall energy throughout the day. So if your not getting 2-3 grams a day instead of reaching for the nearest nitric oxide product try increasing your carbs first and see how it feels.

Protein – The problem here isn’t usually that it’s not enough but more often protein isn’t being ingested often enough or in the right types. Some new bber’s forget when calculating there daily totals that protein from a bagel or rice does not count to your body (unless mixed in the right combo, i.e. Rice and beans). The body needs a complete amino acid profile during a meal for it to help rebuild muscle. So any animal proteins or anything that comes from an animal is always a safe bet. Those are the only things I count when tallying up my totals even if I know there’s more.

Fats – Most new bb’s avoid fats at all costs but for joint, hormone and muscle function fats are a must. Light saturated fats are important but more importantly mono and poly saturated fats like; olive oil, peanut butter, salmon are all foods that contain high amounts of healthy fats.

Training

This can be a complex issue if we want to make it one but I’ll try and keep things simple like I did with nutrition. The problems here usually like in the split and not getting enough rest.

Split – My training split never has legs and back anywhere near each other. They are the two largest bodyparts and most taxing on the body so I like to have a good rest between them. Secondly, not training too many days in a row is important. I like training either two or three straight days, I think anymore is too taxing and will hinder progress.

Volume – This is an age-old debate of whether to do high volume or low volume. I prefer a moderate amount of volume with a lot of pyramid training in my sets. What I can say in some certainty is I think being in the gym for more than 1.5hrs is too much. Eat, get in the gym, kill it and get out.

Supplements

Supplements are important but I listed them last because that is where they fit in my priorities. I think glutamine 2-3X’s a day is important for recovery, a good BCAA/Creatine product before and after training is also important. A REAL whey or casein protein, not one that’s loaded with fillers and lastly never your forget a full array or vitamins and minerals.

Okay that’s a brief rundown of things you should look for if your having trouble gaining new wait. Don’t be scared to try new things, the biggest gains of my career came when I entered the bizarro gym...lol. Everything was backwards and my body really responded. Just remember, any program can make you grow but finding the right one for you is your mission.

Sacrifice Without Regret,

Fouad ‘Hoss’ Abiad

www.fouadhossabiad.com

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