If you have read any previous posts, you've seen there's a lot of info about getting motivated and exercising regularly.
If you've gotten to that 5th phase of behavior change; maintenance,
It has not been easy, but you're now at that point where if you don't follow your schedule or miss a session, it nags at you. GOOD!
So, it seems only fair that I discuss what comes next after you've gotten fit.
An important point here: Your body adapts to whatever you're doing with it, or to it, good or bad
Adaptation has taken place; if you continue what you're doing, you'll maintain the level of fitness, strength and aerobic capacity you've worked so hard to achieve.
That's a good thing!
However, let's say you're really enjoying your new body, and you want to explore your maximum capabilities.
Maybe you have set a goal, such as a 6 minute mile, or a 300Lb dead lift, for example, but can't get there.
You've hit a plateau.
To get the results that propel you into the elite category in whatever sport or exercise you engage in, you must do two major things:
1. Exercise with enough vigor to cause your body go into acute hormonal expression.
Example; Resistance training- Click here on intensity to see an abstract of a scientific study that shows just how complex this issue is.
Here's a picture of me leg pressing 1270 lbs. This degree of intensity keeps me healthy and fit!
If you really want that intensity level, you'll need to educate yourself.
Not with commercial internet sites, or companies trying to sell you products, but by gaining a scientific knowledge base that allows you to make these changes.
Example:Running- improved times require increased VO2 max, Maximal Oxygen Uptake
Click here on the highlighted Maximal Oxygen Uptake for a definition and related articles.
A way to get the needed intensity after warm up, is to run at a comfortable pace, then SPRINT for 30 seconds, just as fast as you possibly can go!!
Then, throttle back to to an easy jog for about a minute. Repeat this cycle at least eight times, or until you are totally exhausted! Note: if you can do this more than eight times, you're not working hard enough during the intervals! (Or, you're a genetic freak!)
During these peaks, you should NOT be able to talk; you SHOULD be gasping for breath!
You will see improved performance!
The most popular name for this is called interval training.
It requires requires both aerobic and anaerobic systems of your body to adapt to the high demand.
These methods are NOT for the faint hearted! You should be fit before you try this!
OR, see a qualified trainer whose profession is helping you get results. For example, Body by Design Studio, sponsor of this blog!
2. Give your body enough time to recover and repair the microscopic damage caused by overloading the engaged muscles beyond their normal capacity.
This is an often overlooked componant of training.
If you train in these ways too often, your body doesn't get time to make the changes you're trying to acquire.
Fatigue, lowered immune system and lack of motivation can result.
So, you have to know your body and have spent enough time to be at a good fitness level, before these methods will produce favorable results.
Good luck and GOOD TRAINING!