When we first start exercising it can be a shock to the system. Often we experience the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and the area of our body we have exercised feels sore and stiff in the days that follow. Thankfully DOMS will quickly disappear if we continue to do the same movements. A deconditioned novice to exercise will make swift progress if they persevere because they are starting from a point below their genetic potential.
By continuing to expose our bodies to exercise we
- Strengthen and build muscle
- Strengthen Our bones through breaking down and rebuilding in a process called ossification
- Lower our blood pressure
- Lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol and raise levels of good HDL cholesterol
We also see neuromuscular benefits when exercising regularly such as increased reaction time, enhanced stability and balance, better exercise technique and we are able to produce greater force.
But once we have achieved a certain level of fitness and enter the maintenance level it can be the time we are most in danger of relapse. We feel pretty bullet proof so we miss a few classes, think of a few reasons not to run or don’t push ourselves as hard in our sessions.
Anyone who has had to stop exercising for a sustained period of time either through a difficult pregnancy, illness or injury will tell you that once you lose conditioning and fitness it is really disheartening trying to exercise again. When you’ve run a fast 10K and then struggle to run 1K slowly it takes a lot to keep going with it.
So what can you do to keep your fitness going long term? Ensure you give it your all in sessions, keep progressing ie squat lower, go for full press ups rather than on knees, try and do more burpees, challenge yourself to do more reps on the speed ladder, ensure you are working at a pace you can’t hold a conversation at when performing work periods in HIIT training, run further or faster and slow your movement or pick heavier weights when weight training.
But also make sure to deload every fourth week. Turning down the intensity a notch and having a few more rest days can help us avoid overtraining. Often a woman’s body will give us a natural deload time combined with stomach cramps and a strong desire for duvets and Cadburys chocolate. Thanks Mother Nature, appreciate it!
When I am planning classes I will change exercises when I see people are beginning to adapt and find them easier. I will challenge you with new movements and work you in different ways to challenge you. Tonight in Legs, Bums & Tums I added two new exercises and it really pushed us. 45 seconds felt like 2 minutes!
I can give you pointers on how to challenge yourself a bit more and perform certain exercises so be sure to have a chat if you want to learn something new, chances are the others in PT sessions or class will reap the benefits too. The relationship between personal trainer and client is one of collaboration and feedback is really valuable.