Many clients hire personal trainers to achieve their goals, stating that the particular machines or methods of exercising that they have used for a length of time, have not enabled them to yet see results.
For example they may have been using the cross trainer every day for months and have not lost weight, or have been doing the same weights program at the gym for a number of years and have not changed shape at all.
Conversely many people have had the same personal trainer for a period of time and have yet to see a change in shape, body composition or fitness level.
Adaptation and fitness are both fundamental characteristics of plant and animal species, which enable us to survive in a changing climate and to adapt in time to any changes that occur in our environment.
Adaptation is not a new concept. We have known for hundreds of years that the human body, when presented with an enormous amount of physical, psychological or chemical stress, can adapt to the source of stress, allowing the body to tolerate incrementally larger similar stresses.
However, it was not until 1936 Hans Seyle gave us our first understanding of exactly how adaptation occurred. Selye spent a lifetime pursuing a goal of understanding how various stresses cause humans to respond and adapt. His work in this area forms the essential foundation of exercise physiology.
As we know from English Naturalist Charles Darwin’s work nearly 200 years ago, Evolution involves two interrelated phenomena; involving the adaptation to the environment, and speciation, meaning that any two species on earth today have at some stage in history shared a common ancestor.
As amazing and absurd as this sounds, it does demonstrate the importance of adaptation. With our superior human brains, we can use this information to our advantage, and push our bodies in ways we could never do before, causing an adaptive response.
Remembering that the body will only change, whether this be body composition or fitness, if pushed to a point at which it struggles, enables us to see some amazing results.
Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates workouts, was born over 100 years ago with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. In dedicating his life to improving his physical strength he created a body so perfect that he was used in anatomical charts by the age of 14, and devised a range of training programs including Pilates and Contrology, both of which work on improving core strength and postural control.
In conclusion the body will only change when challenged to its limit or very close to that point.
Reaching muscle failure is a common technique used to improve muscle strength.
Cardio training once a week at continuously around 85-90% of your maximum heart rate for 20-25 minutes will improve your lactic acid threshold.
If you find an activity easy then the chances are your body will not have any reason to adapt or improve change. Challenge yourself and keep altering your routines every 4-6 weeks. The options are limitless.
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