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Adaptation & Progression

No longer seeing results from your training? Here’s why…

If you’ve been training for a while and start to realise that you’re no longer losing weight, gaining muscle strength or seeing improvements in your aerobic fitness, it is possible that you have reached your plateau and that your body has fully adapted to your current training program…which isn’t a bad thing.

Your body adapts to exercise in 3 main ways:

  • Neural changes influence co-ordination, enhancing neuro-muscular pathways, allowing movements to become more natural

  • Chemical changes for example would be energy – enhancing enzymes developed through an endurance session and released such as endorphins (the feel good factor).

  • Structural changes are an increase of cross sectional areas in muscles from a hypertrophy session resulting in muscle gains.

It’s great to know that your consistent workouts have paid off with adaptation, but this often leads to a halt in progression. So how do we keep seeing results? With the use of progressive overload, which means placing demands on the body which must be increased progressively over time, and must be of a magnitude great enough to cause significant physiological adaptations. In regards to a training program, our muscles need to be repeatedly taxed beyond their accustomed loads if we are to continue seeing improvements.

In order for your body to continue progressing and for you to keep seeing results….it’s time for you increase the intensity of your workouts. This can be done in a number of ways:

  • increasing resistance (weight used)

  • increasing the number of repetitions

  • increasing training volume (adding more workouts to the week)

  • increasing or decreasing speed (exercising at a faster pace where applicable)

  • increasing or decreasing rest periods between sets

  • Or a combo of the above

So in order to keep seeing results, we need to keep challenging the body with new training regimes, but don’t forget to first allow your body time to adapt and reap the rewards before you do!


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