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.
A great way to add variety to your workout is to change the physical location you train in. You can do this to change your workout entirely, or you can simply perform your same routine of exercises in a new space.
For example, if you typically do cardio workouts in the gym, whether on the treadmill or stationary bike, try running or biking outside for an added terrain challenge and an interesting change of scenery. If you are an avid weightlifter and tend to confine yourself to the gym, try lifting weights at home or even picking up a new physical activity such as yoga or pilates to become a well-rounded athlete.
Variety can also come from weather changes outside. If you typically only exercise outside when the temperature is pleasant and there is no rain, try challenging yourself and your fitness goals by training in the heat, cold, or rain. If you do choose to train in more extreme conditions, your body will become stronger and more adaptable, and it will make your normal runs seem practically a breeze by comparison.
Make sure you adhere to weather-related running and training safety so you can be as successful and safe as possible. Check out our collection of waterproof training gear for all of your rainy-day needs.
By shocking the body, we can achieve the gains we are after because change will occur. Whether that be increasing muscle size, increasing muscle strength, increasing muscular power or losing weight.
TRAIN WITH COMPRESSION GEAR
Training with compression clothing is a great way to boost your athletic performance and recovery, minimizing the feeling of hitting a roadblock in your path to personal improvement. Compression gear is designed to be especially helpful for moderate-intensity to high-intensity workouts but can provide benefits to all athletes.
A few are listed below:
- Supports blood flow and circulation from the covered muscles back to the heart
- Helps the body manage lactic acid and fluid build-up
- Soothes soreness, swelling, and discomfort post-workout
- Minimized muscle movement leading to decreased risk of injury
- Supported recovery between workouts
Let compression wear work for you and help you on your fitness journey. It is helpful for both beginners and pros alike, so if you’ve never tried compression gear before, give it a shot. Due to the benefits listed above, you can reach new limits and break boundaries you never thought possible.
Here at 2XU, we have a variety of athletic compression gear for all sports, compression intensity levels, and style preferences. Based on the intensity of your workouts and the desired pressure and relief you wish to receive from your compression clothing, you can find garments perfect for you.
Our compression collection includes men’s and women’s socks, tights, shorts, long-sleeve shirts, and arm and leg sleeves for full body coverage. We have options specifically designed for strength training, running, yoga, and pilates, so you can be supported regardless of your sport.
Check out our collection of compression tights that are sure to give you strength-training support.
TRAIN WITH A GROUP
Maybe you just need a little extra motivation to get to a point where you can notice the change in your body from your workouts. A great way to achieve this can be to join a running or workout group or take workout classes.
Meeting up with a workout group will add a bit of fun to the training process. It will give you people to talk to about your progress, people to cheer you on and encourage you to push yourself further, and people to point out successes that you may be too self-critical to acknowledge. A good group of training buddies can add a lot to your workout and help you see progress faster than before.
Workout partners or groups can be even more helpful when you meet people in the group who have experience in the type of training you’re pursuing or have experienced the results you’re looking for. They can provide you with firsthand experiences and invaluable advice to set you down the right path better than any internet search can.
Whether you want to invest in a personal trainer or sign up for workout classes, training at a set time with a set structure can help you find new discipline and purpose in your workout routine. Classes will force you to follow a set of carefully designed exercises to help you focus on specific muscle groups and limit your rest periods, mixing things up and forcing your body to adapt.
Trainers and teachers can also help ensure you’re following proper form. They may notice things you never would have on your own, which can make all the difference in the world. And, of course, you can always take what you’ve learned from your class and apply it to your individual workout.
EAT ACCORDING TO YOUR TRAINING
There is no one perfect workout diet. Everyone’s needs are different based on the type of training they’re doing, how intense that training is, and the person’s own physical features such as body and muscle mass and existing fitness level.
Sometimes it isn’t enough to simply “eat healthy” if what you’re eating doesn’t complement your training routine. A long-distance runner and a bodybuilder do not require the same foods to succeed, so make sure to do your research and develop a diet that best fits your training needs.
For a healthy running diet, try to have three well-balanced meals per day that include fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates. For a weight lifter’s or bodybuilder’s diet, your meals will need to be higher in calories and extremely high in protein so you can build muscle.
Finding and following specific meal guidelines based on your training goals will help ensure that your eating habits complement your training rather than interfere with it. This will yield more obvious training results and help you reach your goals faster.
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 allow enough time for change to occur. This is where you add different pieces of gym equipment, accessories, or new training methods all together. There are lots to choose from.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 and reap the rewards.
The bottom line is: don’t give up. Just because you’re not seeing the results you want at first doesn’t mean that your efforts are in vain. And sometimes, even if you don’t see visible, external results, there still might be internal positive change happening. Strength doesn’t look the same in everybody.
Following the suggestions above will help give you an extra edge and increase the chances of you reaching your goals, whatever they may be. Keep training hard and keep up the positive attitude. Before you know it, you’ll see improvement in both yourself and your workout routines.
DON'T LET TRAINING INSANITY KICK IN!