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Overcome a Training Plateau With Periodization Training

We know from our work with elite athletes that the body requires that exercise programs change every eight weeks to continue to make gains in fitness and meet the desired goals of the workouts. This basic law of exercise science is ignored in gyms and workouts all across the world and it’s is the number one reason the general public gets bored, burned out and give up on their workouts when results stall.

This principle of exercise science is called Periodization and it is how all elite and professional athletes train. It is built on the fact that the body will characteristically adapt to any stress placed on it in about eight weeks, and then it’s time to change the stress if further gains are to be made. If the kind of stress placed on your body doesn’t change after the eight week adaptation period then the body gets stale and fitness gains evaporate as the body enters the over trained state, even if you don’t think you are training hard enough to get over trained.

Likewise, those personal trainers who think doing something different every workout is aligned with the principles of Periodization are missing the point. The body will adapt to that type of schizophrenic training too, and then what’s left to switch to and create new stress. To create a new stress and force your body to respond you have do something different than you have been doing the last few months. If you have been doing longer, low heart rate workouts then it is time to do high intensity training in the form of intervals. Alternatively, if you are like most and think only hard exercise produces results, then it time to begin longer duration, low intensity ( low heart rate ) workouts.

Robert Forster – PT, CEO & Owner Phase IV