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Shape Up and Move Beyond Your Plateau

To put a positive spin on hitting a weight-loss plateau, you have to remind yourself that at least you're not gaining weight. Once you can see that the glass is half full, you can rev up for adding some serious exercise to your plan. When you are trying to lose weight, you need to do cardio, and lots of it. The American College of Sports Medicine exercise guidelines suggest five 60-minute cardio workouts a week for weight loss. That adds up to 300 minutes total. With creative time management and enough desire to lose 10 pounds, you can do it.

Cardio alone is not enough to lose 10 pounds in a month. You need to add strength training into your exercise plan — two to three days a week. Now that you know what is expected of you, are you at a loss for what exercises to do? I would be, and when it comes to having an exercise schedule, I like to have someone tell me what to do. It takes the work — well some of it, anyway — out of working out. Lucky for us, Shape has created the month-long 10 Pound Meltdown exercise plan for us, and it is all online.

I just did one of the workouts, so to see what I think of the plan, just


The three cardio routines are all for the treadmill, but I bet you could take some of your runs outside if you wanted to. I like that one of the workouts is an hour-long vigorous walk. This morning, I tried the 35-minute "Speed Work" interval plan. It was fun, and while for a beginner this workout might be challenging, for someone used to sprint intervals this is more like fast running intervals, but definitely not an all-out sprint. I felt energized after this run and ready to do some strength training.

Couple these cardio routines with challenging strength training moves, and I think you will definitely move beyond any weight-loss plateau, as long as you're eating responsibly. For the strength training, you will need a few familiar props like an exercise ball, hand weights, a medicine ball, and a paper plate (love the use of household items). But the program also makes use of an exercise step and a resistance band. My gym has all these fitness accessories, but if I were doing the sculpting moves at home I might have to get a little creative. I was able to complete the seven strength training moves in 20 minutes, which gave me five minutes to stretch before I needed to leave the gym (and I stretched a little extra in the shower at home). All in all, it was a great hour-long workout.

I like that with this plan you can mix and match the sculpt moves and cardio plans should you choose, but I appreciate the structure Shape has laid out. If you feel like you're on a fitness plateau, rather than a weight-loss one, this program will get you out of your workout rut, too. For my next treadmill run, I am going to try the Power Hour workout, a mix of jogging and walking followed by hill work.


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