Periodization involves planned variation in the volume and intensity of training; for instance, splitting your training program into phases. Ensuring variation in volume and intensity of training is important for optimal strength gain. Hans Selye’s General Adaptations Syndrome describes three phases of adaptation, shock adaptation and staleness (also known as alarm, resistance and exhaustion).
Shock occurs after initiation of novel stimulus in which case your body suffers from soreness and decreased performance. Adaptation occurs during repeated training exposure leading to increased performance. When your body has fully adapted to the new program, you reach the staleness phase, a time when the same stimulus no longer produces further adaptation; as a result, performance may plateau. To ensure further increase in performance, rest or a change in stimulus may be required.
For more information, speak with your personal trainer.
Talking yourself into exercise is important as many of the long-term benefits of physical activity are generally experienced afterwards – often several weeks or months down the road (e.g. improved cardio endurance, increased energy, weight loss etc.).
When it comes to your workout regime, it’s important to include movement and exercises that you enjoy as this will go a long way towards helping you achieve your goals. Preparing yourself to do exercises you don’t enjoy is bound to zap your motivation and make it less likely that you’ll stick with your program. Consequently, finding a program you enjoy will help ensure you maintain a long-term, active lifestyle instead of reverting back to the comforts provided by a sedentary lifestyle. If you enjoy the way your body feels during a high intensity interval training session, for instance, why not incorporate these into every session?
Don’t let yourself be your biggest obstacle to good health!
The January issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness File – is available now! This issue covers the following:
- KISS: keep it simple, stupid!
- fitness tip: it’s hammer – curl – time!
- nutrition tip: cheat meals – yay or nay?
- club news: welcome back, new year – new goals, holiday charity and parking garage gate
- staff spotlight: Adam Peng (Personal Trainer)
- studio Q&A: is it safe for me to train in the cold?
Check it out here.
Hoping or planning to start your exercise journey? Many people wonder how often they have to exercise in order to achieve their results and the answer is that it depends on several factors:
- Goals: Are your goals super specific? Do they have a deadline? If you have a very clear idea of where you want your fitness to take you – e.g., weight loss – then committing more time to fitness will bring you to your goal faster.
- Availability: Planning workouts – whether going to the gym or scheduling sessions with your trainer – will help to ensure you stay on track. How much time can you reasonably commit? Identifying this can also help you determine how realistic your goals’ deadlines are.
- Financial considerations: One concern we’ve heard from new clients is that training more than once a week with a trainer is not in their budget. This is actually why we introduced Small Group Personal Training (SGPT) back in 2012. SGPT offers similar benefits to 1-on-1 training at a reduced rate, and we host many sessions throughout the week to help you stay active! Sessions include up to 4 clients max!
- Activities outside of the studio: Whether you spend one day a week with your trainer or more, an important question is: How active are you outside of the studio? If you train once a week with your trainer but commit to fitness classes, hikes, home workouts, or other forms of physical activity throughout the week, then once a week with your trainer may be sufficient.
It’s important to note that it is possible to work out too often. Excessively challenging your body with physical demands – often considered ‘overtraining’ – can lead to both chronic and acute injuries. Planning adequate rest will help your body adapt to the work and improve.
If you’re hoping to tackle your health and fitness this year, making resolutions is a great start but next comes the hard part of making them stick!
To help you stick to your resolutions and commit to the changes needed, we wanted to highlight some things that might be counter-productive to your journey:
- Achieving optimal health and wellness comes down to being active AND eating healthy. In order to excel in your health and fitness goals, you need to commit your time and energy to both active living and healthy eating. The two go hand-in-hand; a poor quality diet will likely result in a less active lifestyle and will likely deter progress towards your goals.
- Start slow. If you push too hard too soon with – let’s say – your fitness goals, you are at a greater risk of injury. Additionally, if you jump right into a diet without considering your lifestyle or nutritional needs you are not likely going to stick with it long enough to see results. In order to make big changes, we must first make small changes!
- Listen to the experts. Some people make resolutions but don’t know how to begin, nor what they should or should not do in order to move forward, etc. In the case of fitness, people often think that weight loss means exclusively running on the treadmill, or they think they can skip the cool-down and stretch component of their workout. If you are new to training, it is important to consult an expert to ensure you begin a program that is both safe and effective.
- Hold yourself accountable. Achieving any goal depends greatly on your ability to commit yourself and hold yourself accountable. One great way to ensure you stay on track is by keeping a fitness and nutrition journal.
The New Year is truly a great time to set goals for yourself. New year, new goals, new you!