Everybody knows who I’m talking about. The folks who go to the gym day after day, and have done so for years, yet they look the same as the very first day they walked through the doors. Hmmmm, why do you think that is? After all, they go to the gym everyday. You’ve seen them spend countless hours on the cardio equipment and they hit the weights as well. So, what gives? What are they missing?
There’s usually two things they are missing actually. One is variation and the other is the overload principle. It must be applied if there is to be any change esxpected of our bodies. In some way, they body must experience a greater amount of “discomfort” than it did the day before in order to be overloaded and therefore create change. Makes sense, right? So, what happens if the body does not experience the overload principle? Adaptation. Our bodies adapt to everything. They adapt to the environment, the food we eat, the work we do, our climate, the amount of water we drink on a daily basis and of course, our exercise routine.
You may or may not have noticed that the folks who look the same as they did the first day they walked through the doors do the same routine day, after day, after day…you get the idea. They do the same things over, and over, and over yet they expect a different result. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? If it didn’t work yesterday, last week or last year then guess what?! It isn’t going to work today, next week or next year either! Change it up!!! It really doesn’t take much change to create something just a little bit different that your body won’t recognize. If you’re currently doing a tricep press for your tri’s, do an overhead extension instead. If you’re doing lat pulls switch it up to a straight arm press on the cables. Bench presses are awesome, but change it up a bit and use dumbbells instead, or incline/decline the bench a bit. You don’t have to drastically change things in order to see results from it. Sweet, huh?
Overload is something that 90% of people who use a weight room completely ignore. Why? Because it’s uncomfortable and sometimes, it down right hurts. There’s no getting away from the fact that, if you truly want change, it has to hurt a little (okay, sometimes a lot)! Keep in mind however, that the “hurt” I’m talking about is different thatn true pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right and that it is in danger of inflicting an injury. Muscle burn (the hurt I’m speaking of) is totally different and is necessary to acheive the desired results, whether they be weight loss, building lean muscle mass or gaining strength. It’s GOT to burn!!