Program Hopping Is Killing Your Results!
I know it’s hard to be patient and stick with an exercise plan consistently. Women’s fitness magazines and the internet are full of shiny, new, exciting routines that you just can’t wait to do!
But consistency is for your own good. Without consistency, you can’t expect results. The only way to become more athletic (which will translate to a smaller waist-line!) is through practice and consistency.
Distracted by the overwhelming amount of exercise plans available, many exercisers suffer from the deadly condition known as program hopping.
Program hopping is killing your results, so you need to quarantine yourself from this disease.
If you change your workout plan every few weeks (or days), you haven’t given the routine enough time to work. You haven’t given yourself enough time to get any better at the exercises. Heck, you probably haven’t even given yourself enough time to learn how to perform the movements correctly!
If you want results, you need to stick with a single program for at least 4-6 weeks. Consistency is for your own good.
The best way to become stronger, faster, and more flexible is through progressive overload.
Here are four simple ways to create progressive overload in your training.
#1 Do more repetitions of each exercise.
Example: Let’s say you were able to do 10 push-ups in your last training session. The next time you train, your goal is to beat that previous number. If you bang out 11 or 12, you just achieved progressive overload.
#2 If you are working out in a gym, do the same exercise with more weight.
Example: Let’s say you could do 10 barbell squats with 75 lbs in your last training session. The next time you train, your goal is to perform 10 squats with 80 lbs.
#3 Work up to more difficult variations of each exercise.
Example: Let’s say you’re doing push-ups on your knees or elevated on a bench. You should do this consistently for several weeks with the goal of performing more push-ups as you go.
But in a few weeks, you could give yourself a new challenge by performing negative push-ups (beginning at the top of the push-up position and performing the lowering portion as slowly as possible). Do this consistently for several weeks, again with the goal of performing more negative push-ups.
And then in a few more weeks, you could attempt traditional push-ups. If you stick with it, you’ll be doing real push-ups before you know it. Neat, huh?
#4 Shorten rest periods as time goes on.
If you’re new to training, you might want to rest for 2 minutes in between every exercise. It’s important that you recover before every set of every exercise.
But as you improve, you can start reducing those rest periods. After a few weeks, cut those rest periods down to 90 seconds. After a few more weeks, cut them to 1 minute. After a few more weeks, cut them to 30 seconds. And when you’re feeling brave (and can handle it!), try to do your training routine with no rest at all.
Consistency is for your own good!
If you change your exercise plan constantly, you’ll never adapt to the challenge you’re demanding of your body. You’ll never have any idea of how much stronger you have become (which is no good for motivation – you need to keep track of this to stay encouraged!). And you’re just not going to get results – plain and simple.
Check back next week when I’ll give you a full exercise plan to do at home which will incorporate progressive overload. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments!