I don’t know about you but it seems like no matter what kind of gym or fitness center you go these days to regardless of how fancy their machines are or how buff their trainers may be, months and months and often years go by and every one still kinda looks the same… No doubt as a nation, and southern california in particular, people are more active than ever and really seem to be making a point to exercise more frequently. Now, don’t get me wrong: anything is better than nothing, but I’d be willing to bet that just behind (or perhaps right in front) of the obvious health related benefits of exercise is the desire to look good naked. This is a powerful motivator, however all too often this motivation get misdirected and stuck in a routine like pattern of the same low-intensity redundant training programs. This is why I am a firm believer that the best routine is no routine at all! The reason is that our bodies, from an evolutionary stand point, are designed to adapt in an effort to conserve as much precious energy (body fat) as possible. So, what happens after a few weeks of the same old same old? You guessed it: Adaptation. What does this mean exactly? It means your body is saying “cool, I got this. No need to shed that body fat anymore.” How can this “adaptation” or plateau as its more commonly referred to be avoided? Oh, just the 3 most important factors for getting results:
Lets face it; intensity is tough. Especially when you’re current life situation isn’t just right for a hard workout. Not enough sleep, not enough water, not enough food, too much food, long week, long day, fight with girlfriend/boyfriend, laziness etc… Here’s the bottom line: Your body physiologically responds to intensity. Meaning, when you wake that central nervous system up with a set of 21 thrusters, immediately you start secreting growth hormones. Which by the way are a huge contributors for burning up body fat and building muscle. However, this kind of “hormonal response” is rarely achieved through chronic cardio and single joint exercises. It’s done through dynamic, compound, multi-joint movements that leave you sweating and gasping for breath. Kinda makes sense huh? Obviously your body is going to need to make some changes to be able to handle that kind of exertion… This doesn’t mean long drawn out workout however, 45 minutes tops. Short and sweet. Hormone levels significantly drop after 45 minutes of intense exercise. So, get in, get out, get results! Ok, that was a little cheesy…
21 Thrusters is definitely intense. No argument there. However, If you’re doing them 3 times per week your body will eventually adapt to even the most rigorous of exercise. That’s why you MUST have variation. Going back to that adaptational evolutionary survival mechanism I mentioned earlier regarding redundant routines; no matter the scale of your training you need to change everything about it almost weekly in order to avoid this pesky adaptation. Whether its rep range, amount of weight, shorter breaks or any and all of these, the best way to insure progress (after you’ve mastered the intensity aspect of course) is to keep your body guessing. Keep it chasing that elusive plateau that will never quite come because before your body can adapt you’ve already changed your routine and sent it on yet another wild goose chase.