When we train to the point of fatigue whether that be on a long run or set of push-ups our bodies will adapt their fitness and stamina levels to allow you to train to that level of fatigue in the future. However, when we train beyond that point by pushing out another km or resting before completing another set or two, our bodies learn to adapt their fitness levels beyond our “comfort zone” and it’s once we’re out of our comfort zones that real fitness adaptations occur.
I’ll give you 2 different analogies so it makes a little more sense.
1. Imagine you run 5 times a week. You always run at roughly the same pace and always the same route or distance – let’s say 3km. You don’t do any other training.
On the one hand – great! Good on you for getting out there and looking after yourself. On the other hand, however, what do you think would happen if you attempted to run let’s say twice the distance? You would find it really hard right? And what if we also asked you to run a little faster, OMG!!
By constantly varying your training – fast/slow, short/long and at times training beyond what you would normally find comfortable, you will allow your body to be prepared for ALL situations; a quick sprint to rescue your new puppy from going near the road to a long run with your new training buddy.
2. Let’s look at a roof tiler – all day long constantly bending and lifting, bending and lifting and usually always the same amount of tiles in each pile. How do you think they feel at the end of the day or even the week? Do you think they feel strong and fit or do you think they feel worn out, even exhausted!? I would definitely say the latter.
Now let’s look at a slightly different scenario – take the same roof tiler and the same workload but now let’s add in 3-5 days of training either before or after work. Training that is constantly varied always challenging the body to deliver a different result. Sometimes working with low resistance and high repetitions, sometimes high resistance and low repetitions, sometimes combinations of both. What about when we use different equipment like this month when we utilise a fitball? Not only do the exercises require more balance and concentration but they also demand the body to recruit more muscles, specifically the small intrinsic muscles used to balance and stabilise the larger muscle groups.
I can tell you without a doubt that this roof tiler now finishes each day feeling a lot more energised and able to sleep more soundly.