The second rule that I've made for myself was made completely out of trial and error. When I first started getting healthy I did DVD's. Two DVD's to be exact, and I did those specific ones for two years. What finally killed me was that I was working out everyday and no longer seeing the results that I used to.
You see, our bodies are fantastic.
The thought of what our bodies can do and how everything works together to make you live, breath, move, feel...it's amazing that any of us are able to exist at all. Yet, here we are. Our bodies want to be here...in fact, their one purpose in this life is to keep existing, so natural defenses are within to keep us alive.
One of these defenses is your body's ability to adapt. When you begin a routine your body is activated and begins to change. Yet if you continue to do the same thing over and over, for several months for example, then your body decides, "Well, I'm going to get good at this because they are clearly going to do it everyday."
That's what my body did.
So I learned after that first plateau that I needed to simply switch it up. I couldn't do the same thing for that long period of time and still expect intense change.
This led to my second rule...CHANGE THINGS UP.
The longer I'm fit, the more often I have to do this. So I now have the rule that every four to eight weeks, I change things up.
It can be a switch up of diet or exercise. And it can be small or it can be massive. I've noticed I'm so used to this now that my body almost craves this bit of mix up.
My body and brain wants to be challenged.
And the other thing is that if you are like me and have a tendency to put on weight...we tend to have to change it up the most to get lean. For whatever reason, certain people have to change it up more than others. If you feel as though you hit a lot of plateaus, than this might be for you.
In order to change, your body wants you to have to work at it.
My massive changes will most likely be my entire workout. Sometimes circuit training, sometimes heavy lifting, sometimes body movements, whatever it is...it is consistent, but what it isn't...is stagnant.
Changes can be:
calorie intake -- drop by 100 calories
length of workouts -- from 10 minutes HIIT to 15 minutes HIIT or go from 30 to 45 minutes lifting
style of workouts -- circuit, running, sprints, HIIT, etc...
carb cycling -- 2 days higher carbs followed by a couple days of low carbs can do wonders
ZigZag Calories -- Everyday is a different amount of calories.
or even Rest.
When I work my body hard for too long, I begin to feel sluggish and I don't see change. I sometimes cut working out for one week and then go right back to it. Suddenly my body starts responding again.
It needs to be shocked.
So shock the pants off your body and be prepared to see change. Don't let plateaus defeat you.