I call it training insanity. People contact me and state they’ve been doing a training program for a certain amount of time and still see no results. Training insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” said Albert Einstein.
Realistically, some results probably were achieved, but it was so long ago that they can’t remember and the results may not have been visible. Why? Early adaptations from a training program often occur to the nervous system. Put simply, we begin training and our nervous system is getting used to muscle stimulation. Often though, people don’t change their program. The same muscles continue to get stimulated at the same rate, the body gets used to it, plateaus occur, and the desired change doesn’t and an early change is often missed.
Others give up altogether, because they saw no change and become disillusioned by the whole training program. If this sounds familiar, have a look at ‘The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change’ (Prochaska, DiClemente & Norcross 1992). It’s a great explanation about the stages of change an individual needs to go through to see change and create a habit.
To achieve visible results we must push through this first before change occurs. I know you’re thinking, how long does that first phase last? In my experience, both as a Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, it’s usually somewhere between six to 10 weeks and statistics back this up. But remember, everybody’s different.
Once you’ve got through the first phase, what do you do now?
SHOCK THE BODY BY ADDING VARIETY!
Change your program regularly and use progression. This not only means playing around with sets and reps, but also adding things like resistance bands to your workouts. This is so loads can be increased at the top or bottom of a movement, which the body won’t be use to and it will need to make change to adapt.
Another way is to decrease the amount of stability to a movement. For example, if in your first program you performed squats, try some single leg squats sitting back on a bench. This will increase activation of muscle stabilisers which are important to reduce injury, increase balance and ultimately increase the body’s overall strength. Try things like kettlebells, ropes, TRX BANDS and ask staff at your gym to show you how to use new and different equipment.
By shocking the body we can achieve the gains that we are after because change will occur. Whether that be Increase muscle size, increase muscle strength, increase muscular power or lose weight.
5 SIMPLE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO MULTIPLY YOUR RESULTS
To help you see and experience change you will need to:
- Train hard.
- Eat a diet that complements your training.
- Add recovery training aids such as 2XU compression for faster muscle repair.
- Mix up your training workouts to allowing enough time for change to occur. This is where you add different pieces of gym equipment, accessories or new training methods all together. There’s lots to choose from.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 and reap the rewards.