By Lynn Bode
Humans are habitual. They strive on routine and rituals. It's true that
routine can provide a sense of ease and security, but I think we'd all
agree that the same old, same old can also turn to boredom. And when it
comes to working out, routine can be downright toxic.
New exercisers often see quick fitness results such as weight loss and
increased muscle strength while engaging in the same workout day after
day. However, after several weeks following their fitness routines and
consequently experiencing fitness improvements they often become frustrated
as the gains begin to dwindle. Eventually dieters scales become frozen
on the same number or weight lifters are stuck at the same weight size.
They hit a plateau.
A plateau typically is the direct consequence of a fitness rut - when
an exerciser performs the same workout over and over. The human body is
very efficient and quickly adapts to work. Once the body practices the
same activity repeatedly, it grows more proficient at performing those
moves. So that means it requires less energy and therefore also burns
Instead of celebrating their body's improved fitness capabilities, exercisers
often abandon their workouts. And who can blame them? After all, they
no longer are seeing the results they desire and have become increasingly
bored with their workouts. Plus, hitting a plateau not only can halt fitness
gains, but it can even reverse previous successes. But, with just a few
simple steps exercisers can easily break-through that brick wall and continue
to reap all the rewards of regular physical activity.
Dodging the dreaded plateau is actually very easy. Variety is the key
ingredient to continual fitness success. To avoid hitting a workout plateau,
follow these recommendations.
To begin with, every workout routine should be changed about every 4-6
weeks. The modification doesn't have to be dramatic. A totally new exercise
is a possible option, but alteration of a current exercise can be just
A simple way to determine how to transform your current workout is using
the F.I.T.T principle. F.I.T.T. stands for frequency, intensity, time
and type. This strategy can be adopted for both cardio and resistance
training. Frequency - increase or decrease how often you workout Intensity
- increase or decrease the difficulty or level at which you workout. Time
- increase or decrease how long your workout sessions last. Type - change
the type of exercises you perform.
Frequency and Time are limited by an individual's schedule as well as
appropriate rest time to ensure maximum efficiency and safety. But Intensity
and Type are really only limited to creativity and planning.
Cardio exercise intensity can easily be varied through speed, incline,
distance, height, etc. And of course the types of exercises are practically
endless, so exercisers should never have the excuse that they've exhausted
their exercise options. Good cardio examples include, walking, jogging,
swimming, biking, hiking, etc. In addition, combining several of these
exercises into one workout session can be very effective. Try 10 minutes
each of 3-4 unique exercises.
Strength training intensity can also easily be altered with changes in
resistance size, number of reps, rest time, number of sets and more. Even
simply switching the sequence of the exercises can prove effective. There
are also numerous strength training exercise options. Unfortunately, most
exercisers are unaware of the plethora of training techniques and equipment
options. They often get stuck performing the same 10 exercises over and
Yet, there are hundreds of unique options. Simply utilizing new types
of training equipment every 4-6 weeks can result in big improvements because
each type of equipment will work the muscle groups in a slightly different
manner. Gear options include: free weights, body bars, selectorized machines,
resistance bands, fitness balls, and more.
So, to reduce your chances of hitting a plateau remember the F.I.T.T.
principle. And approximately every 4-6 weeks choose one element of the
principle to change (or even all four components). Incorporating this
strategy will enable you to progress further and attain even higher fitness
levels. It's just that easy!
Lynn Bode offers her personal training services online through her company,
Workouts For You provides even the busiest of people affordable, personalized
exercise programs (via the Internet) for losing weight, toning-up, building
muscles & increasing stamina. The programs can be done on their schedule
and at or away from home.
for a FREE sample workout.