Exercise Plan Plateaus: Another Sad Excuse for Ineffective Workout Routines

Sep 6 18:36 2008 Joey Atlas Print This Article

"You have to change your exercise routine every 8 weeks or you'll hit a plateau." How many times have you heard this crazy statement? Lots of times, I'll bet? While I'm a big fan of variety in exercise program - I'm not a big advocate of or believer in the above statement.

You need to change your workout routine every ten weeks or so,Guest Posting or you'll hit a plateau and stop making progress.

How many times have you heard this crazy statement? Lots of times, I'll bet?

While I'm a big fan of variety in exercise program - I'm not a big advocate of or believer in the above statement.

It never made sense to me. It actually seemed counterproductive for many people. One of the primary reasons I think this is true is that it complicates matters and confuses people. It gives people one more bad reason to give up on trying to stay on his/her own fitness routine.

This myth was most likely spawned from the old school of personal training with has a heavy influence from the bodybuilding sub-culture. These are simply not principles that should be applied to everyone - especially 'regular people' with real lives to live.

Here is what I do like to teach, when it comes to 'variety' (because it works).

It's called 'micro-varying'.

You take one exercise and create several variations of it. It could be three variations - or it might be twelve. The key is that you create options without having to overhaul your entire program every 2 or 3 months. Here are 2 examples:

For abs and core - one of my all time favorite exercises is the reverse crunch. Now, most people - if they've even ever heard of the reverse crunch - stop there, and then want to know "another exercise for the abs".

The truth is, the basic reverse crunch can be morphed into at least 4 variations. And, yes, crunches are very effective - when done properly.

These are:

1 - Cross leg reverse crunch

2 - Twisting reverse crunch

3 - Incline/Decline reverse crunch

4 - Side to side reverse crunch

The second example features my all time favorite butt and thigh exercise - the one leg hip extension (OLHE). This exercise is done with a simple floor mat and it can easily be morphed into 3 variations. These are:

1 - OLHE with a stability disk or small ball (soccer ball size)

2 - OLHE with 55cm swiss ball

3 - OLHE using the edge of your couch or an ottoman

Make your program fun and realistic by modifying the exercises you already know how to do - without having to do a complete fitness program makeover every 2 or 3 months. It's easier to stick with and you won't stress out, thinking you 'have to change everything around again' - while still reaping the desired benefit - results.

Yeah - you can can add new exercises here and there - or vary the sets, repetitions and rest periods - but there is no need to do a total program makeover - just when you're starting to get into a system.

The concept of the 'fitness plateau' is more a myth than a solid fitness principle. A lot of people even use it as an lame excuse to validate their lack of success.

If what you are doing is working - stick with it. If your program 'stops working' - contemplate why - before you going messing things around and replacing your entire exercise program with no rhyme or reason. Changing your routine for the sake of change or because you've been fooled into believing the fitness plateau myth is actually true, may only cause you to do something else that isn't going to work for you either.

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Joey Atlas
Joey Atlas

Joey Atlas, MS - Exercise Physiology, is the Amazon.com Bestselling author of the fat loss book, Fatness to Fitness and the Author of the Ultimate Cellulite Reduction Exercise Program for Women. Visit his sites for more free tips and articles from Womens' Favorite Trainer, Joey Atlas..

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