FIT by Katy challenges are intense, and depending on if you just completed 8 weeks, or more, your body may need a little break for you to prepare to do it all over again. We’ve created a maintenance guide to help you decide if you're ready for back-to-back challenges or want to enter a maintenance phase.
TL; DR? If you're struggling with any of the following, it may be time to switch your goal to maintain instead of lose or gain.
- Declines in exercise performance
- Inability to lift as heavy as you once were
- Easily exhausted
- Inability to recover properly
- Motivation is lacking more than usual
- Heightened cravings or obsession with food
- You've stopped making the progress you want to
- If you've been in a caloric deficit for 16+ weeks
- Really poor sleep
- A weight loss plateau that has lasted 3+ weeks
WHAT IS A MAINTENANCE PHASE?
The idea of maintenance is to find a rhythm with your workouts that's not driven by maximum output - it's not about burning fat or gaining muscle. During a maintenance phase (which can last several weeks or a few months) your goal should never be to max out out reps or weight. Instead, you should mix your strength training days with lower intensity circuits, try some yoga, or even just go for a hike outside.
Normally, this involves a slow transition away from a deficit or surplus and a moderate reduction in effort in the gym. This allows your body to regulate back to a more 'normal' state so that you're prepared to go-hard again in the future.
Please Note: this does NOT mean that this is some sort of 'free for all' break from being healthy. For a maintenance to truly be maintenance, you can continue to track your macros or move to intuitively eating whole foods, and still get in movement 5+ days per week, just at a different intensity.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Maintenance is used to preserve power, strength, and muscle mass for when you amp it up again. Finding rhythm can help prevent injuries from overtraining and give your muscles and joints a little break. Sure we all take rest days, but our bodies don’t get the amount of recovery they need to perform at their best from only squeezing in one rest day every once in a while.
Maintenance phases are also a chance for any negative factors of metabolism to return to a more normalized state. This helps you create a gap between the calories you eat and the calories you burn when you start a caloric deficit or surplus again.
Beyond the physical benefits of resting our bodies, the emotional and mental break can do wonders as well. Preparing for a workout and all that goes along with a challenge can be a little stressful. It’s good to not put so much pressure on yourself during the maintenance phase and slow it down.
WHAT DO I DO INSTEAD?
If you think you're ready for a maintenance phase, you can always join #FBKFreshStart and choose 'maintain' as your goal for the challenge which will give you appropriate macros and guidance. Or, if you think you need a more formal break, here are a few options that could be good to stay on track while in a maintenance phase.
RESTART THE CHALLENGE
Premium members have access to all of our past challenges so you can go back and try one that you haven’t done before. While you're in this phase remember to not max out your reps and weights, and keep the cardio under 20 mins 3x per week.
Keeping up with a regular workout routine will make waiting for another challenge that much better. If you’re not a Premium member, no sweat. Upgrading is easy! Manage your subscription in your FIT By Katy app.
CHECK OUT THE WORKOUT GENERATORWorking out on your own and need some inspo? Our workout generator will help keep your routine fresh. Choose a muscle group to focus on and let the generator create a custom workout just for you. We can help you take the guesswork out of hitting the gym post-challenge.
DON'T SKIMP ON THE H2OJust because the challenge is over doesn’t mean your water intake should drop. Aim to drink 1 gallon of water per day, which will not only help you get ready for the next challenge, but it will keep your body feeling great! You can track your water intake right in the MFP app, how easy is that?
MIX IT UP
Now is the perfect time to try a different workout style. Check out this blog to understand the difference between types of training styles and how you can add them into your routine. Or, maybe it's time for a 4-week trial at your local yoga studio or barre class.
We know that it can be a little nerve-wracking to keep up your routine once the challenge is over, but we’re here to support you, in every phase of your fitness journey!
If you've read through this post and you still feel ready to take on your next challenge, LET'S DO IT! #FBKFreshStart Challenge will begin Sunday, March 6th. Can't wait to see you there!