plateau - Are you exercising but not getting fitter?
main reason I wrote my book, Rugby
fitness training: A twelve month conditioning programme, was
from the fact I kept meeting so many rugby players and keen exercisers
who were training hard but not making improvements.
is such a frustrating place to be, I would know, as I spent three
years training but not getting fitter before I discovered the secrets
to breaking this tiresome cycle. I decided to share my knowledge
and wrote the book.
understand how you can get to a stage where you are training, but
not getting fitter, this is called being stuck on a plateau, you
must understand how your body improves fitness. This is explained
by the theory of adaptation.
theory of adaptation.
theory of adaptation states that when the you are presented with
a new exercise stimulus, e.g. running 2 miles, lifting an 80 kg
weight etc, the body is shocked by what it experiences and reacts
by changing itself so it can cope with this stimulus if it is encountered
again in the future.
body changes the physical ability that was stressed during the exercise
e.g. in response to jogging, increases occur in aerobic fitness;
through lifting an 80kg weight the body adapts by increasing strength
and muscle size. This response to exercise is the underlying theory
used in designing exercise programs and why we do exercise.
the body no longer perceives the exercise you are performing as
a new stimulus it will not change to adapt to the exercise. Your
body will stay at the same level of fitness. At this point exercising
will not produce any fitness improvements and you are said to be
at on a plateau.
my experience this is where 80% plus of regular gym users are and
the reason why so many people join gyms and leave a few months down
the line. The problem is when the body gets bored, the brain follows
not too long afterwards. At this point you find your exercise enthusiasm
disappears and many people drop out or begin just suffer to the
solution is Periodization,
the all encompassing theory of how to design training programmes
to optimize performance. Used by every professional athlete the
basic principles must be employed by anyone who does exercise or
tries to keep fit.
can be summed up by the statement ‘structured variation’.
It is the way to change your training programme from week to week
and month to month to ensure that the body does not get bored.
example of this would be to change your training programme every
four weeks. Another method would be to change the reps you perform
or the level you use, for example if you normally do 15 reps on
the weights, try doing 10 reps for the next 3 weeks, then drop down
to 5 reps for the three weeks afterwards and take a weeks recovery
before returning to 15 reps once more. You will now be at a higher
weight than where you were at the beginning. For
cardio try introducing interval training.
concepts of periodization is a corner stone of my
courses to ensure lifelong exercise success.