The process of becoming the person that you want to be would be incredibly exciting, engaging and rewarding if the decisions we made about which actions to take always brought the results that we expected. However, as you become an active participant in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you will certainly become aware of circumstances when the actions you have taken are not producing the results that you expected. For example, our coaching group continues to work with numerous individuals who have determined that the best way to achieve the fitness of the person they want to become is through hours of steady-state cardio on a treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike. After weeks, months or (sadly) sometimes years of taking this action, many find little accompanying changes. What would you suggest these individuals do? What will you do when the actions you choose to take do not bring the changes you expected? While this situation is certainly disappointing, will the action of giving up on fitness and exercising bring the change that you desire? Of course not! So, at times, after we’ve taken a course of action, we must re-evaluate its effectiveness, and from our new vantage point of having tried it, determine if another course of action is more appropriate. With this mindset, there will truly be no failures in your fitness, only learning opportunities.
The best fitness program must adjust to the adaptations your body makes in response to the program up to that point. This is known to trainers as periodization, or planned variation at specific intervals within an exercise program. Without those appropriate adjustments in your fitness program, you will, at some point, cease to become better. Few exercisers start out thinking that they will continue their new habit for anything less that the rest of their lives. However, few make any plans to vary the routine and are therefore, setting themselves up for a certain plateau and future frustration. The bottom line is this: to continue to see changes, you must VARY your actions.