Don’t wait to hit a plateau to begin upping the ante in your workouts. You should increase your workout intensity. So, rather than allowing your body to enter that “groove” that eventually puts you on the dreaded “plateau” (where the impact of your exercise regimen does not produce any notable results), keep boosting the intensity on a regular basis.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you are going to eventually hit maximum limits and get stuck in a plateau at some point down the road. This is because intensity can be radically different from what most fitness enthusiasts believe.
Here is what I mean:
- A typical route for increasing intensity would be to use more effort for the exercise routine you have chosen, increase reps over time, add more weight to any strength training, or work to go faster or longer in a shorter amount of time.
- An alternative route to increasing intensity (and the one we would recommend) would be to use cross training and to challenge the body to adjust to new patterns on a regular basis.
As an example, one of the best total body workouts is found with the use of a single sort of exercise. This is a kettlebell swing. It incorporates a squat, a controlled lift, and engages the entire body from the feet and all of the way through to the neck.
Now, that is a pretty intense sort of workout if you partner it up with some cardio workouts. However, if you do sets with kettlebells of varying weights, and you integrate rounds of explosive movement in between sets, you are going to challenge the body on a persistent basis.
Consider this sort of routine:
- Do 15 kettlebell lifts, rest for one minute, do 15 burpees, rest for one minute, and complete a circuit with a series of kettlebell lifts at a higher or lower weight then originally used. Repeat until fatigued.
- The next day could be about cardio conditioning that incorporates strengthening such as 100 burpees integrated with sets of lunges, squats, planks, and other body conditioning work.
- Repeat the first day, but use different explosive movements and different weights.
- Repeat the second day, but use a different form of cardio.
This sort of regimen would not allow the body to “predict” or become used to any sort of training, and this sort of challenge is what always generates great results and long term success!