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Adaptation principles of training
One vital component to monitor on your fitness plan is that of adaptation. Adaptation is going to occur when you have been performing any given activity for a specified period of time.
When you first begin a new exercise, it takes the body a while to get used to this. At first you may find you receive some neuro-skeletal improvements, as this is usually what takes place first. After that has happened, then you move on to seeing muscular improvements as your strength or endurance (or some aspect of fitness) will go up.
It is when you stop seeing an improvement in this aspect of fitness (whatever that particular exercise is targeting) that you know your body is seeing adaptation. If you then fail to change the exercise somehow, either making it harder, adjusting the angle from which it is taking place or changing the movement altogether, that is when you see a plateau in the results you are getting.
Sadly, far too many individuals fail to see that this has occurred and just keep going into the gym every day doing the same old routine. Then, months have passed and not only do they not really look any different but their performance hasn't changed either. They then start to question why they aren't seeing results!
The key to getting the most from your workouts is changing them as often as you can. This can be as simple as reversing the order in which you perform the exercises or utilizing a different rep range. Any little thing you do is going to shock the body slightly and cause it to respond.
Furthermore, it's a very good idea, every four to five months to do a complete overhaul of your workout program and get on a totally different routine. For example, if you were previously using a full body workout performed three days per week, move onto a four day split where you will do an upper body and lower body session twice per week. You'll want to use as many new lifts as you can when you change the workout so you will completely shock your body.
So make sure you do not forget to watch out for this taking place. As soon as you feel like you are not progressing any more, do something about it! It makes no sense to keep going into the gym, doing the same thing over and over when you aren't getting results.