Here's how we finished Master Adapter Part 1:
"Dosage is important. Proportion is important. If you want to see change, something has to change. Consistently. Over time.
And it has to change enough to tip the scales.
So whatever direction you want to go, you have the power to start tipping those scales."
I was catching up with a long-time friend a couple nights ago and discussing his impressive lifting gains over the past 6-12 months.
He's been sharing his experience with others, essentially telling them:
"If you want to lift heavier weight, you have to pick up heavier weight."
You're right! It DOES sound simple and obvious: If you want something to change, you have to make changes that are congruent with your overall goal.
And you have to give some time for those consistent changes to have an affect on your body.
To paraphrase Dr. Andreo Spina: no single input has the power to make any lasting changes on your body. It must be done consistently over a significant period of time.
Whether you're stretching, running, lifting weights, getting adjusted, getting release work done, eating 600g of protein, or eating 20% fewer calories...
It won't matter unless you continue to do it on a regular basis. Yes, your body is constantly adapting, but it takes time for those micro adaptations to manifest into something meaningful.
You might notice (you'll DEFINITELY notice) immediate changes from all of those things I listed above - but they won't last, unless the inputs themselves last.
Stretching will grant you temporarily more flexibility.
Getting adjusted/getting released may temporarily relieve pain, reduce tension, and give you more range of motion.
Lifting weights will give your muscles a temporary pump.
A week or two of lifting weights may have you feeling more defined and muscular.
That doesn't change the facts: very little, if anything, on a structural level, has changed in that short amount of time.
Neurological changes (pain perception, ability to recruit more of your muscle, coordination) can be much quicker, but again, they won't last if you don't keep up what you're doing.
By all means, get EXCITED about those positive changes - you're doing new stuff and it's making you feel better, allow yourself to feel happy and proud.
Just recognize that your changes must be sustainable. Lifting heavy weights in a singe workout will not help you. Especially if it makes you so sore you can't exercise for a week.
Trust me...struggling to move for a full week because you decided to make up for every missed workout in one marathon lifting session is NOT part of a sustainable strategy.
On the other hand, remember: the stimulus has got to be enough to actually tip the scales. Lifting a heavy weight for one repetition once per week also won't do much for you. Even if you do it for a year.
1) What is my goal: what do I want to achieve? How do I want to feel?
2) What is my baseline when it comes to training/working for my goal?
3) Are my current strategies elevating my baseline enough to realistically expect a positive change?
4) Can I sustain my current strategies for the long-term?
Be honest with yourself!
One Christmas, my Aunt was complaining that she wasn't losing any weight, despite spending an hour on the treadmill 5 times per week!
I asked about her heart rate: when walking, it was barely elevated above her resting heart rate.
I asked about her progression: she'd been doing the same exact thing for many months.
Not an ideal strategy for change. Not a nearly enough of a change from her baseline.
Now this is really gonna sound fake, but I promise it's not. A different Christmas, my uncle was complaining of shoulder and back pain. He'd been on a new exercise routine for a couple months and had been losing weight.
I asked what he did: lifted moderately heavy weights 5 days per week.
I asked what his routine was: same exact thing each day.
His stimulus was too great, not even close to sustainable. He went from nothing at all, to 5 days per week of lifting weights - and doing the exact same exercises.
Yes he was losing weight, but at what cost?
These are pretty straightforward and extreme examples (at least to me, I know my perspective may be different), but I hope they get you thinking about your own life and what variables you may be overlooking.
I can only imagine I've missed more obvious variables than most in my life.
I can't tell you exact parameters for what is too much and what is too little. I'm constantly experimenting and re-calibrating my own parameters for different goals.
We're all different, you are the one best qualified to figure out what's best for you. You might just have to tune in a little more closely at times:
If the changes you seek are not happening, you must adjust your strategy. That might mean lifting heavier weights, running more often, running less often, getting more sleep, seeing a doctor, hiring a coach, etc.
If you have recently adjusted your strategy and it feels sustainable and healthy, but you're NOT seeing changes, give it some time before you try something else.
The scales take time to tip.
Above all, please remember how powerful you are!
With time and well-directed effort, you are capable of making enormous, life-altering adaptations. (physically AND mentally).
This is YOUR power to keep. A power you will never relinquish, so long as you remember you possess it.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. I'd love to hear your thoughts. And I can promise I have too many examples of when I didn't have the awareness or ability to think this way. Click below for one such example: