The problem comes when we have adapted SO MUCH, that the workout that use to beat us up… is no longer challenging. We eventually get “too efficient”. There comes a point where simply doing MORE won’t be possible, and there comes a point where doing what we’ve always done… stops working.
The best, and most common example is the person who starts jogging as a means to lose weight. Jogging works EXCEPTIONALLY well for weight loss… for a little while. But eventually, in order to keep the weight coming off, we need to bump jogging up to running. Eventually, running a few miles doesn’t keep the weight off (as our body adapts), so now a few miles is up to 4-5. 2-3 nights per week becomes 5 nights per week, and sometimes a weekend run on top of that! You’re leaner and lighter than when you started… but despite your frantic pace and volume of running… body fat creeps back on.
What’s the solution???
1) Switch modes. Running has become EASY to your body. The jog, that use to burn 300-500 calories, now doesn’t even break a sweat. But swimming??? BRUTAL! Cycling kicks you butt, and a spinning class is TOUGH! Your body hasn’t adapted to it. If running isn’t working any more for fat loss… switch to something DIFFERENT.
2) Don’t cut back on weight training, to make time for more running! The higher the volume of long-duration cardio you do in ANY form, the more your body wants to adapt by cutting muscle mass. Strength training stimulates muscle growth in people who do less cardio, or simply helps to maintain lean mass in people who do high-volume cardio.
Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. In fitness and fat-loss, you must either constantly increase the load or volume, or you must switch the mode! The same workout, at the same intensity, over and over again… will only force adaptation for so long.