So, what does it take to get result?
In addition to being consistent and going to the gym regularly, there are two other vital rules of thumb to get results:
1. You must change your program every 4-6 weeks!
2. You must work hard enough!
A major mistake that a lot of people do is to stick to the same training program for way too long. The body has an incredible capacity to adjust and adapt to any new stimulus.
The idea behind exercise is that you challenge your body by doing "stuff" that it's not used to. As a result, the body responds by adapting to the stimulus which results in more strength, power, speed, and endurance.
In sum, your body gets stronger, more powerful, and in overall better shape when it adapts to the various training stimuli. If you want to keep getting fitter, you have to change your program because once the body has adapted to a program, it reaches a plateau.
So, in order to keep getting results, you must keep changing your training programs to always throw new stimuli and challenges to your body so it keeps adapting and getting stronger, faster, and more powerful. The fitter you are, the faster the body adapts.
The body usually adapts to new training program within 4-6 months. It's basic exercise physiology! Generally, you should change your program every 4 weeks.
Here is a partial list of the things you can change:
- Number of sets
- Number of repetitions
- Speed of execution
- Order of exercises
- Workout frequency
- Training system (i.e. supersets, pyramid, etc.)
So, make sure that you change your program every 4-6 weeks if you want to maximize your results and avoid wasting your time!
The other thing you must do to get results is to work hard enough. This is a particularly important message to women because they tend not to push themselves as hard as men do.
You must go beyond what your body is used to get stronger. It's just a basic principle. In other words, you must lift a heavier weight that your body is used to in normal life. So, let's say that you used 45 lbs for an exercise and it is a challenging weight to start with but that you keep using the same weight for a while, it's going to get a lot easier probably to the point where it will be pretty easy.
At first, you will be making interesting strength gains because it is a challenge for your body but after a while, you body will get used to the load and will not get any stronger. That's why it's important to keep increasing the weight when it gets easier.
Way too often, softball players stick with the same load way too long when they are training. You have to increase the load when an exercise is starting to become easier.
As a rule of thumb, once you get close to the prescribed number of repetitions, you should not be able to do more than one or two extra repetitions. If you can keep lifting this weight past the prescribed number of repetitions, it's too light! It's at that point that you need to increase the load a little bit.
A little word of caution: it's not good either to use too much weight because you are likely to use bad technique to complete the exercise and you are more likely to get injured.
You must pick a weight that will make it challenging but that also allows you to maintain proper technique the whole time, even when you start to fatigue!