Shock Your Body for New Growth
Does this sound familiar? You’ve been working out consistently for months, putting your all into a training regimen designed by an expert (or Mario Lopez.) You’re eating right, resting appropriately and practicing correct form. But something isn’t right: you’re not progressing. You’ve plateaued – record scratch!
Don’t feel like a fitness failure; this happens to everyone, even big-ass bodybuilders. Fortunately, there’s a way out. No, you shouldn’t start snorting protein powder or wearing ankle weights on the job. In order to get your body out of a rut, you’ve got to give it a wake-up call. You need to shock it every now and then if you want your muscles to keep growing.
Finding a workout routine that works is amazing, I know. You finally start seeing results and, thinking you’ve found the perfect regimen, keep at it. Whether you like to run hills or lift weights, you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone to progress. This doesn’t mean completely throwing your body out of whacking by randomly picking up advanced mountain climbing or freestyle snowboarding (unless you’re some kind of fitness god.)
Changing the intensity and order of your workout is really all you need to do to shock your body. Do you usually work in your cardio before lifting? Switch it up. If you’re one to run at 6.0 on the treadmill for half an hour, start doing intervals of 30 second sprints and 1 minute rests. Concerning weights, there are a few things you can do to throw your body a curveball. Take drop sets for instance. This involves performing as many reps as you can with one weight until failure, stripping off some of the weight and doing as many reps as possible with this new weight, and so on.
I’ll admit it. I’ve grown accustomed to my current routine and need to change it up. If you’re like me, you get so used to doing the same workout it just becomes convenient. Not only do you not have to push yourself any harder, you don’t have to spend time doing any research. If you want to get stronger, however, you’ve got to constantly evolve. An acquaintance I ran into at the gym this week told me how awesome it was recently to change up his routine, how he felt the effects immediately, and I totally understood what he meant. While it may be difficult and/or incredibly painful, shocking your body really does do wonders. It’s only when you completely surprise your body do you realize how used you’ve grown too accustomed to your current routine. When all of a sudden you’re back to gasping for air and aching like hell again, you know you’re doing something right.
I’m going to hit the gym this week and change up my routine, like some kind of training ninja. My body will never see it coming. I suggest you make some changes too. Just have some clue what you’re doing before trying to bench 600 pounds.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.