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Use these 3 training principles to make sure you don't hit a plateau in 2022!

Updated: Feb 21, 2022

Whether you like to lift, run, bike, or hit the gym for exercise, it’s inevitable you’ll hit a fitness plateau. You may not even realize it at first — you’re so used to your routine that it’s second nature. But, after a couple weeks or even months, you may feel like your body isn’t responding the way it used to. Your body doesn’t look any different than it did last year, maybe even a little pudgier. The distance you usually run is starting to feel easy and you’re not even that sore after you lift BUT you don’t feel like you're in better shape.

There is a principle that applies to the body called the SAID principle which stands for the "specific adaptation to imposed demands" and means that essentially, the body will specifically adapt to the types of demands placed on it. For example, if you sit for 8-10 hours a day with your shoulders rounded forward, your body will start to change and structurally adapt to the demands of sitting. The human body is incredibly proficient at adapting to the stress that’s placed on it. If you do the same thing for too long, you’ll simply stop making progress. To put it nicely, you will become too efficient at whatever you are doing, this = a plateau.

There are 3 basic principles that can be applied in various ways to prevent or get you out of a training plateau.


I get it, your routine is comfortable. That’s the problem. You do the same lifts, at the same weight or you run the same route 3 times a week. If you are practicing a movement pattern, working on technique or grooving your mobility, routine can be a great thing BUT if you are trying to get stronger, faster, or improve your athleticism, routine is the enemy.

The name of the game is variety so changing it up is the key to making progress. Instead of running the same route, once a week run the opposite direction or run a completely different route. Instead of always doing barbell back squats, do a rear foot elevated split squat holding kettlebells. A good program will not only have variety, it will have a structure that provides variety over the week, every month and throughout the year. Having a plan designed specifically for your goals, that includes a variety of intensities, durations, movement patterns and modalities will deliver consistent results over time.


This is where you have to decide if you want to exercise or train. If you’re just running to get some miles in and burn some calories, great. Stick to your usual, comfortable run. But if you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle and improve your metabolism, you will need to step out of your comfort zone. Turn your long, steady run into a series of 1 minute hard intervals followed by 2 minutes of tempo running. Or change up your usual lifting routine of lat pulls, squats and deadlifts into a workout of 18 minutes on the minute of 5 deadlifts, 5 squats, and 5 pull ups. Or it could mean doing a lift followed by a 15 cal row, then do another lift, followed by a 15 cal row, and repeat until you are done with your usual lifting routine. No specific rest, just transition between row and lifts, resting as little as necessary until you are done. Honestly, it probably means some combination of all of the above. These variations of your traditional workouts will cause your body to utilize all 3 energy systems which challenges your metabolism to adapt and become more efficient.


This comes down to intensity in your workouts. Intensity is the number one variable that delivers results! Now let’s define intensity. Specifically, intensity is defined as power: force multiplied by distance, then divided by time. (P = F x D/Time) Simply put: Intensity is doing more work faster.

This can be done in multiple different ways.

You can add resistance in the form of weight, bands, chains, etc…

You can add speed to your movements, run faster, lift faster, ride faster, in the form of short anaerobic intervals followed by enough recovery to repeat them at the same intensity.

Shorten the time it takes you to do your workouts. Simply compress the amount of time it takes you to do your workout by resting less between sets and using the clock to your advantage. The faster the better with good form!

The last way to increase intensity is through volume. Doing one more set, running another mile, or adding 2 more intervals to your last workout.

Intensity is not without consequences so use it wisely and preferably under supervision of a professional coach.

Having said that, increasing your intensity will earn you a deload. This can mean different things for different people and their programs but to give you a general example. It would look like 3 progressive weeks of ramping up intensity as described above and the fourth week you would cut all volume in half with days off between workouts. If you want to move more than that, it has to be low intensity like walking, mobility work or easy yoga. Remember, you earn this rest and this is what will allow you to progress in the next cycle of your training.

I know this is a lot of information and can be confusing as to how you are supposed to incorporate it into your training. That is where I can help you. Through a movement analysis session and a collaborative discussion on what your goals are, any past injuries or problems that are currently hampering your movement and a realistic look at where you want to be and in what amount of time. I can design a program for you that will not only eliminate any plateaus but will also significantly reduce the risk of injury in any form. If you are curious, set up a call and through this strategy session we can decide if moving forward together would be the best step or if I can give you some tips to figure it out on your own. Now get out there and train to be better tomorrow than you are today.

Move Well, Live Well

~Coach Brant

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