*Note: If you haven't read Phase 1, be sure to check it out if you are just starting out on your fitness journey!*
Have you stopped making progress toward your goals in your exercise program? Are you ready to ramp it up? Maybe it is time to rethink your approach to exercise.
Making progress towards your goal is more than simply adding more weight, more resistance, or more repetitions to the exercises you started with. Another common mistake we see people make is doing the same exercises in the same order every time they go to the gym. You can only increase the amount of weight, increase the number of repetitions, or increase the resistance until a point when your body reaches a plateau or fully adapts to that particular workout.
The key to making progress is to constantly change the stimulus to force your body to continually adapt. Adaptation to exercise typically takes between 3 to 6 weeks. If you've been following the suggestion guidelines for phase one and are ready to step it up, it's time to move up to phase two or maybe even phase three.
Phase Two :: Strength Building
Work HARD! Use heavier weights, more resistance, and/or more reps.
Focus on exercises that require coordinated movement over multiple joints/muscles. In other words, move beyond machines or isolating individual muscles. If you haven't already, it's definitely time to start incorporating functional fitness into your fitness journey, like this step up exercise.
Perform exercises that require balance and stability (i.e. core strength)
Vary workouts in intensity with 2 to 3 HARD days a week and 2 to 3 moderate to easy days a week.
Vary cardio workouts between shorter, harder workouts (intervals) and longer, easier workouts.
Mix it up! Don’t do the same exercises over and over again. Get creative, keep it interesting, have fun!
Phase Three :: Goal Specific Exercises
At this point, workouts should become more focused on training for your fitness goal. If your goal is to run a 10K, you should be running more and/or focus on exercises that are specific to running.
Exercises during this phase should be more dynamic in nature, involving complex movements and coordination, balance, and athleticism.