Fitness Blog – The importance of change in exercise programs

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I have done resistance exercise for 50-odd years now but still have to push myself to implement this concept into my own workouts. It was easy as a competitive weight lifter to change because it was part of your program to do so. You had certain phases to your program within the patterned competitive year and the program was further broken down into a 4-week rotational intensity pattern – so there was continuous change.

Even though that I have stated that I am personally resistant to this concept within my program, I still implement certain changes every 4-6 weeks. But I have known people to go to the gym doing the same basic program for years and who wonder why they don’t get anywhere after the initialimprovement period.

As I have said in fitness and health articles over the years we are creatures of habit. In fact some experts define the age of around 35 as the time we become completely set in our ways. It takes a huge effort of willpower to implement even small changes in our lives…

If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you keep on getting what you’re getting. So if you don’t change your exercise program around regularly – i.e. every 4 – 6 weeks – your body and mind will adapt to the stimulus exerted upon it and you won’t make the continuous desired improvements.

  • so even if you follow the Change Principle you will still reach certain plateaus in improvement. This is the time you should have a close look at what you’re doing and see if it matches up with what you want out of the program. You may have to redefine your goals and ask yourself the question as to whether the program you’re doing matches up with your expectations.
  • to help you to overcome the resistance to change have a pattern in your program to placate that part of your mind – your Ego – that doesn’t want change. But change the pattern every 4-6 weeks and have rest periods within that pattern. They are just as important as the exercise!
  • listen to your body. It will tell you when change is needed. Sometimes the sign for change will come in the form of the beginnings of a repetitive-strain injury or tiredness – which you may consider as a lack of emthusiasum on your part. Some people think that pushing through these times is a matter of mental strength – but in fact it is a weakness. I have been guilty of this way of thinking many times in the past – but exercising harder is not necessarily exercising smarter. Exercising with a conscious awareness of how your body is reacting to your program is the smart way to exercise and will pay dividends in the long run.
  • be mentally present in all your exercise workouts. Our concentration span is a measly 8 seconds! To get over this lack of concentration ask yourself as to whether you are present throughout your workouts – and particularly before you make a maximum effort – whether it is doing a resistance workout or running. Use as many of your senses that are appropriate for whatever exercise mode you are doing – not just sight, but touch, smell, taste – internalize being within your body – it makes an enormous difference in how you perform. In other words, change your way of thinking if you want to reach your potential.

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