Are you hitting the gym or doing cardio regularly but not seeing improvements in athletic performance or body composition? Or perhaps you are already working with a personal trainer in Mississauga and the same thing is happening. It’s very common to hit a plateau and get complacent doing the same fitness routine but this will not yield results because of a principle known as progressive overload. Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training. It states that in order for any of the 5 components of fitness (muscular strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, body composition and flexibility) to improve, increasingly greater demands must be placed on the body during exercise training. To state it very simply: no pain, no gain! Progressive overload can be manipulated through a number of different variables such as load, speed, range of motion, training volume, time under tension, rest periods, training frequency and exercise selection. Load, speed, range of motion, training volume and exercise selection produce structural adaptations in the form of hypertrophy (muscle growth) and increase the body’s ability to recruit more muscle (muscle strength). Time under tension and rest periods produce metabolic adaptations in the form of increasing energy stores, cardiovascular capacity and muscular endurance which influences how much work you can accomplish during an exercise session and how fast you can recover between exercises.
A lot of guys who are reasonably fit (at around 15% body fat) want six pack abs. In order to get six pack abs you need to be at least at 10% body fat. Unless you have the right genetics and a fast metabolism getting down from 15% to 10% body fat is a goal that is very difficult to achieve. It is possible to achieve this goal in 2 month by following a high intensity exercise program, having the right diet and the discipline to do both things consistently. I’ve seen a lot of guys with an advanced training status train hard for a period of 3-4 months and still not achieve this goal (their lower set of abs was still hidden under a layer of abdominal fat). Indeed I have been there myself recently and that is how I discovered a training method I’d like to call condensed circuit training (CCT) and what prompted me to write this article.