Ever wonder why your training program changes every month? Why you can’t just do the same things you’re comfortable with? Why you can’t keep doing 15 reps instead of 8? Or why you can’t do a different workout every time you’re in? What do you need to do to lose those last 10 pounds through training?
In order for us to consistently achieve our fitness goals, we need to continually switch up our routine in a number of ways. And while most of us can agree that this is important, our major questions remain why? To begin, let’s look at what happens when we first begin to put some stress and resistance on the body.
It’s your first day at Movimento, and your trainer just told you to start doing some bodyweight squats for twenty repetitions. Sound familiar? We have all been there, whether we started at age 15 or age 65. No matter your age or ability, in order for the human body to obtain lean & build lean muscle, we need to lose fat first and introduce some sort of stimulus and resistance to our structure. Being the adaptive bodies we are, physiologically we start with what we call “the alarm stage”, which is the first stimulus our muscles get from starting to move. This can include any kind of bodyweight (gravity), resistance band, dumbbell, barbell, etc. acting on the body. Next we have what is called the “resistance stage”, in which the body slowly gets used to this stimulus and responds with increased lean muscle building and activation. This can begin in as early as the first couple weeks of training! Here at Movimento, we simply call it our “Break-In/Conditioning” stage.
Moving along and loving our first couple weeks of training, you’ve been crushing your workouts quite easily. All of a sudden, you have a new program with slightly less repetitions, new exercises, and more weight. What happened? Simply put, your body was beginning to move out of the resistance stage and into the “exhaustive stage”. In this stage, the stimulus has reached a level in which any positive feedback you received before is no longer efficient and the work you put in will give you less and less in “muscle return”.
This is the simple brilliance of how we program here at Movimento; we keep your body in that zone of resistance while subsequently avoiding that zone of exhaustion or plateau in which our repetition range, amount of resistance, and exercises have all changed. These include your program in a given week, for example going from a strength workout to a cardio workout and back to a strength workout.
However, how we move from one stage to the next depends on the person and their specific fitness and health goals, along with medical conditions. For example, many of us are here to rehab injuries, build lean muscle or work on our cardiovascular capacity, while others may be trying to increase their running speed, or simply just workout to maintain an active lifestyle. Everyone has their own unique situation, and training programs will always reflect their needs first and foremost. That being said, in many cases it best at times to stay in a break-in stage for 2 months at a time, versus jumping straight into the next one and possibly leading to an injury. This may stem from a need to build muscular endurance first, build up cardio capacity second, or perhaps to strengthen muscle fibers in a particular area to help an injury. Programming the right way is crucial for what we need first, in order to achieve what we want later. In short, there is indeed a method to the madness!
They say one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, hoping to achieve the same results. This phrase is undoubtedly true when it comes to fitness training, and life in general. If we aren’t challenging ourselves, if we aren’t striving to make ourselves better, then really…what is the point? We are all given the opportunity to become better, whether it’s physically or mentally. Here at Movimento we are here first to help our members achieve their best, and we pride ourselves on providing our members with the knowledge and daily change they need to become a better version of themselves.
After all, a smooth sea does not make a skilled sailor!