So you’ve tried to lose weight? You might have even made some progress from time to time like seeing a kilo or two disappear from the scales just to have it jump back on the following week. Sound familiar?
So what’s the most common cause of this happening? What is really going on here? The answer is really quite simple. IT’S PROGRESSION (or the lack of it)
Put simply, many people work out on an almost daily basis yet they fail to see any real results and this is a certain reason most people simply give up in their efforts. This is because they misunderstand the extremely vital element of progression. Progression means when you start out on an exercise regime you need to account for manipulation of one or more of the following -
- Type of workout
To quote a very real principle that is ‘the progressive overload principal’ states than – in order to make progress your muscle must be continually challenged with new training stimuli, or they will cease to adapt.
Every single person who comes to me for help wether it be for weight loss, muscle gains, dietary advise or a combination of any or all will be handled in EXACTLY the same way depending on their current fitness levels. They are given a brief screening in regards to what their personal goals are and then they have a program prepared for them that always takes progression into account. Without progression you will simply plateau and that is the same if you are dieting, exercising or both.
The bottom line is that if you are truly committed to making real and continuous gains then you need to learn to get uncomfortable the moment your plan becomes comfortable. The further you get from your comfort zone, the faster you’ll reach the finish line. This could simply translate into lifting more weight, doing more reps, introducing different or harder exercises or just doing them faster with shorter rest periods.
Once that becomes comfortable, get uncomfortable again! There is a name for this and people who take up my 6 week challenges hear me talk about it all the time and that is ‘muscle confusion’.
Muscle confusion is the very simple principle that keeps your body guessing. By promoting muscle confusion your body has no choice – ZERO – but to continually adapt and create change.
‘Keep your body guessing and you’ll keep the results coming’
Once you understand the concept of muscle confusion, it is almost like a veil has been lifted from your head and everything becomes clear.
In layman’s terms, if you were to come to the gym and do a 30 minute run every day on a treadmill on a speed of 12 k’s per hour then you would run 6 k’s in 30 minutes and (depending on your weight and fitness level), burn around 400 or 500 calories. This will promote increased fitness, stamina and weight loss in the beginning because it’s a challenge and your body is learning to adapt to it. However, after a very short period of time, and I’m only talking about 4 or 6 weeks, your body will no longer perceive it as challenging and will simply accept the training regime as a daily ritual and the gains will simply cease. It is at this point where you need to cast your mind back to how much more difficult it was in the beginning and then match that intensity. That can be by either adding an incline to the run, running longer, running faster or adding intervals. Whatever you do though, you need to make it a challenge once more.
Another example is someone looking to increase muscle size. They will put their muscles under strain by lifting weights which creates fatigue which will then cause the muscles to work beyond their normal daily load and in turn ends up in the muscles getting bigger and stronger. But again in a very short period of time the muscles will adapt and the body will stop responding. At this point it is again time to shake things up and this generally means completely changing the workout when trying to build muscle rather than increasing weights or reps. This is because you will inevitably reach a point with any exercise you do when it comes to weight training where you cannot progress in size, weights or reps regardless of what you do.
The message here is simple. Train hard, change things up the moment you get comfortable and be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone. That very simple recipe is the magic bullet to the body you want.