For some women, after a few months of beginning a new exercise program they’re able to see incredible results. They’re able to lose some pounds and maybe even drop a dress size or two.
But, a lot more women are allowing themselves and their exercise routines to become dull predictable. They allow themselves to get comfortable and never really push their body more than what it’s use to. At this point they “hit the wall” or “plateau”.
Are you one of these women?
When you plateau you stop seeing results. You’ll get very discouraged and probably stop working out all together. To avoid plateauing and to continue seeing results for the entire time you workout you need to take one principle to heart.
Principle Of Progressive Overload
“The theory that, to maximize the benefits of a training program, the training stimulus must be progressively increased as the body adapts to the current stimulus.”
In English: To get the most out of your training you need to constantly challenge your body and increase the intensity.
Let’s take a look at this example to gain a better understanding of this principle…
Jane wants tone, define and gain some strength in her upper body. In order for her to see results she needs to overload her muscles to a point beyond which they are normally loaded.
So lets say Jane can perform only 10 repetitions of biceps curls before she’s tired, using 7.5 lbs dumbbells. With a week or two of resistance training she’ll be able to increase her repetitions to 14 with the same weight. She then starts using 10 lbs dumbbells to challenge her muscles more (since 7.5 is too easy) and within another week or two she is ready to bump up her weight to 12lbs.
This is a perfect example of correct progressive overload. Jane is constantly challenging her body every two weeks and in return she’ll continue to see results and NOT plateau.
This principle can also be applied to any aerobic activity…but I’ll save that for another post.
The bottom line is that if you want to avoid hitting the wall and continue getting results from your exercise routine, you need to:
1. Constantly change your exercises.
2. Work at different intensities and challenge your body differently on a weekly basis so you don’t give your body the opportunity to adapt.