Posts Tagged ‘Overload’
Many people who have turned to a circuit training health club seeking quick weight loss get discouraged because they find that, once they start exercising consistently, they do achieve some results. Sooner than expected, however, they reach a plateau and have their progress grind to a halt. These folks aren’t doing anything wrong; they just lack the weight loss information needed to continually make headway toward their fat loss goals.
What these folks need is circuit training equipment that features adjustable resistance. In other words, they need the ability to increase or decrease the amount of resistance on the workout equipment.
Why is this important? Why not have just one level of resistance?
With only one resistance level, the typical 30-minute circuit workout gym franchise is unable to meet the long-term fitness needs of their members.
The ‘Principle of Progressive Overload’ maintains that once the body has adapted to the stress put upon it, no further progress will be made until 1) resistance is increased or 2) repetitions are increased. This puts a gym without adjustable resistance in the uncomfortable position of having their members ‘plateau’ once they have mastered the equipment. Depending on their age and prior fitness level, their members soon find that their progress has come to a halt.
Most circuit gyms are unable to adjust their resistance settings, so by definition they cannot promise life-long progress. Of course, their members could simply do more repetitions (exercise for 45-60 minutes), but that invalidates the entire 30-minute workout concept.
Circuit training gyms with adjustable equipment provide a solution to this problem. Pick Up The Pace, for example, offers equipment with six different resistance settings. Most new members start on a setting of one or two, and no members are able to complete a full workout on a setting of six. The hydraulic equipment provided at Pick Up The Pace thus provides an answer to the life-long fitness enthusiast; members will never plateau but will continue to make progress for as long as they are a member.
Another way to consider this concept is to think of jogging. If you went outside today and jogged for 10 miles, how do you think you would feel? Probably dead on your feet! Now, what would happen if you did that same 10 mile run every day for the next year? After twelve months it wouldn’t be difficult at all. The human body adapts to the stress put upon it, and in this example you would eventually find it easy to jog 10 miles.
Once your body has adapted to the point that a 10 mile run is no challenge, then you will cease to make progress. Sure, continuing to run 10 miles each day would certainly MAINTAIN your good health, but you wouldn’t make any more progress. Again, the ‘Principle of Progressive Overload’ mandates that in order for you to make more progress in this jogging example you would have to either 1) increase the resistance (run uphill) or 2) do more repetitions (run farther).
Resistance training works the same way. By increasing resistance periodically, you will achieve continuous progress and stay off the plateau.
It’s time to move up the resistance to the next level when:
a) it takes longer to reach your target heart rate
b) you have difficulty maintaining your target heart rate throughout your workout
c) the resistance feels ‘too light’ for you.
Increasing resistance when we’re not ready for it puts you at risk of injury, makes you burn less fat and doesn’t give your muscle the same beautiful tone you’re looking for, so don’t increase the resistance until you’re sure you’re ready.
If you’ve been exercising in a circuit training fitnes center, but are unhappy with your recent results, it may be time to seek out a gym with adjustable resistance.