Progression in Exercise
Submitted by: Mike Umberger
Success, when achieved consistently over a period of time is acknowledged by one and all. Sporadic success and eye catching results are often dismissed as flukes. The same logic applies to exercise as well. You can and should only claim that you are successful with your fitness training if you do not stagnate. And in order to prevent yourself from getting stuck, you need to understand the concept of progression in exercise.
The principle of progression states that the results you get from workouts are directly proportional to the increase in the amount of effort you put in. if you didn’t get it here’s a real life example which may help you grasp the point.
If you invest $100 in a fund which pays you 10% interest, you get $10 every year. But increase your investment to $1000 or $10000; you get increasing returns of $100 or $1000 respectively. Carrying this logic into exercise, the investment is the amount effort you put in and the returns are the benefits you get from exercise. So the bottomline is: work harder to get fitter.
Understanding this is really important if you want to succeed with fitness training. If you don’t lift, run or stretch more than what you did two months ago, you are simply not progressing! You might think your personal trainer is pushing you too hard but he might just be trying to ensure natural progression. And when progress stalls you might even consider quitting exercise altogether!
While progression is necessary, it is also important to increase the amount of effort you are putting in at an optimal rate. There are two things you need to consider here:
A slow rate of progression can make you fat in case you are into strength training. This is because, the high protein diet you might also be on, gets converted by your body into fat. This is only possible if you are not working your muscle groups enough to aid the creation of new tissue.
A faster than ideal rate of progression can also have a detrimental effect on your health. If you work too hard, you might overtrain or might even face an injury.
So, the million dollar question is; what is the ideal rate of progression? Unfortunately there is no definitive answer to this. The rate at which you should increase the amount of weights you lift or distance you run or even minutes you workout, can only be found after a bit of trial and error.
Here again, a personal trainer can be your best friend. He can assess your body’s responsiveness to exercise better than anyone and this is one more reason why hiring a trainer is a great idea.
Also, in case your progress has stalled, a trainer can help you get out of the rut and start getting increasing returns from exercise once again. A common way, in which trainers help you shrug off a slump, is by reducing the volume of exercise you do and then increase it again.
Perhaps you now have a clear idea about progression in exercise. Use this knowledge to get the best out of your training plan.
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