Stick To A Plan/ANY Plan!

Hey friends!

Good morning and happy mid-week to us all! :)

Fall has been so beautiful to us lately. Such gorgeous weather! I keep eating lunch out on our porch, enjoying the views of the colored mountains and breathing in the fresh air…….except when bugs take up residence nearby.

True story. I freaked out yesterday as I walked outside…. because a (huge!) critter was hanging out on my porch. So I did the sensible thing: yelled, slammed the door, ran back inside, and ate my lunch in our comfy chair in the living room. Why aren’t husbands home to deal with such crises?!?

*******

Stick To a Plan/ANY Plan!

So, as I mentioned in last week’s consistency is key blog post, there is another important fact in training that goes hand in hand with that: not switching up programs too often.

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This might surprise you, as I am sure you’ve often heard things like, “change things up,” “blast past that plateau with a new workout” etc., etc.

While this has founded research behind it, it can’t be taken too literally.

Some important points of Stick to A Plan/ANY Plan

  • The FITT principle (Frequency Intensity Time Type), should be applied to all exercise programs designs
  • Every program design’s progression depends on the individual’s health status, fitness tolerance, and overall SMART goals
  • The body needs time to adjust and adapt to programs

When you want to see progress in something, you must work at it, stick it out, and be patient with yourself. The same goes for any fitness program you decide to take on.

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If you want to run a half marathon, then you must find a quality training plan. If you want to work on strength gains, either stick to the same type of classes (BodyPUMP/CrossFit/Bootcamp) or program, for that certain period of time.

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In general it takes the body about 5-7 weeks to adapt fully to a new exercise program2-3 months to SEE physiological changes, and 4-6 months to see, experience, and enjoy even further physiological changes.

{Info from: ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription textbook; on my shelf}

Hence why so many often give up after a few weeks….

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Patience is of the essence! It’s just as important as the effort required to lift those weights, run those miles, dance those steps, or box out that frustration.

{Naomi (a PT & figure competitor) has a post that hits some of these points too: hitting a plateau}

So just switching it up all the time is not going to get you very far. Yes, it’s better than just sitting on your tush (who says that anyways?!) because we all have 10 minutes, but no, it’s not going to make you look ripped, super fit, or super fast. In fact, you might be hurting yourself by switching it up so often.

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What YOU need to do:

  • Choose a program/plan (or 2 or 3 classes that go well together: a cardio class, a core class, a weight training class; spaced evenly throughout the week)

and

  • get after it!

It doesn’t matter which program, plan, or class (unless it’s unsafe and not monitored by certified individuals), because we all have our different fitness loves, but it does matter when, how often, and how long you stick with that program/class/plan/workout.

Final Points:

  1. Programs and training plans are designed by specialists, scientists, trainers, and professionals who make it their job to make sure the programs deliver the promised goals.
  2. Your only job? To follow it. To not give up. And to stop switching programs left and right.

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Rant/explanation over.

*****

Well, with that I am off to do a run, work, and then teach some BP!

Have a GREAT day!

Have YOU seen strength or mileage gains by sticking to a program?? If so, which one?? Do YOU prefer to follow a specific plan-or do YOU just wing it?? Are YOU a patient person???!! <–me? Most definitely NOT!

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Comments

  1. Mileage gains for sure!! Ususally I always follow a plan – this is the first time I’m not and itz working out well. I am ready to get back to some type of strength training plan though!

  2. I’m excited for Tina’s bootcamp to start next week, without a plan I’ve been lost and all over the place these two weeks post marathon. I’m ready for a plan, I just need to STICK TO IT, like you’ve said! I need to be 100% dedicated!

  3. I have noticed the biggest changes when I concentrated on my eating more than working out (when I couldn’t due as much while the hip healed)

    Once I got the food thing more under control I did start to notice changes in my body fat (less) and muscle (more) …now, with upping my exercise I can see that patience and a plan pays off. (finally!!!! I am beginning to understand this healthier way of life) HA!

  4. my first time following an actual plan was for marathon training and I felt pretty prepared at the starting line! i’m hoping to get faster next year so i will definitely put a plan together for that…but right now i’m excited to run without having to follow a plan, if that makes any sense :) i do love that plans do give you results, but sometimes its nice to just go with the flow (running wise!)

    have a great day girlfriend!

  5. I’m all about a plan and goals and all that jazz… But lately I’ve realized those have had to take a backseat. My main goal right now is to listen to my body and keep active the best I can. It’s been good for me I think! And me, patient?! Heck to the no!

    • Girl, you’re so right! Listening to the body is best, of course :) I just wanted to clear up some misconceptions of changing it up alllll the time. Esp when they don’t have a good (itty bitty) reason like you do :)

  6. Oh yes, I definitely agree with sticking to a plan. Especially if you are training for something specific. I tend to get bored, so I change my plans every 2-3 weeks. Maybe not long enough, but I figure its better than like you said…sitting on my tush;)

  7. I’ve definetely increased my mileage through a plan. I used to be only able to run about 15 minutes at once (yah i was out of shape) and now I can run 4+ miles. Interval training!! Currently training for a 10k.

  8. Danielle says:

    lol I’m still chuckling over your critter scenario – that would totally be me!!!
    i’ve been on this half IM training plan for what feels like an eternity now, but i’ve defninitley noticed that my cycling, swimming, and running are slowly but surely improving. after the race i defnitely want to pay more attention to strength training and make that a goal once and for all.
    i have no patience whatsoever! it’s so tempting to change things up all the time, especially when i see so many great looking plans out there! but overall i love a plan and getting results rocks. just doing my best to keep my eye on the prize is what motivates me, but sometimes i sure do wanna hit the fast forward button and get it done already! haha :)
    xoxox happy hump day!

  9. I’ve never followed a designated plan, per say. I just create my own “plan” based on my running goals and try to stick with it. Even though I’m not necessarily training for something right now, I find it really helps to have goals to plan around.

  10. love that 6 months from now thing. so true!!!

  11. I don’t follow a plan at all…In the morning I do Leslie Sansone aerobic & strength training and in the evenings I will do yoga classes…

    I HAVE been focusing more on strength training lately and let me tell you I am SORE. I used to put so much emphasis onto cardio but I am trying to be mindful of taking my muscles to the limits via strength training in addition to the interval cardio training.

    PS I AM SO not a patient person!

  12. I much prefer following a plan! I’m following one by This Fit Chick right now, and I am loving it. I’m only on week 4 of 12 and I’m already seeing some nice strength gains. :-D

  13. great post and i totally agree with u…i’m a total creature of habit and will stick to my running like none other, but i kno lots of people who say they ‘can’t’ be runners because it’s too hard and i say to them exactly wat u said, “well, ya, it really is hard if u start/stop, but make it thru the first really hard couple weeks and then from there it’ll get easier and then just stay consistent!” :)

  14. these are my favorite kind of posts! informative and inspiring!

  15. I am not patient!

  16. Yes, yes, yes!!! Following a plan has a reason. It’s good to change things up with natural progressions over the course of the plan but still not be hopping from one thing to the next to the next to the next.

  17. I am naturally very impatient, but I have learned that good things are worth working for. I went from struggling with 3 mile runs to completing half marathon and marathon distances by sticking to a prescribed plan.

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