I generally lift the same amount of weight when I workout. Is this hurting my progress?

Functional Insights

"I generally lift the same amount of weight when I workout. Is this hurting my progress?"
 
Well, it depends. (Ahhh, I hate that answer, but stay with me here.)
 
It really comes down to time. How long have you been doing the same program, with the same weights?
 
Several months or even years? Then yes, There's a good chance progress plateaued some time ago.
 
To put things in context, the highly personalized programs that our Functional Elements team designs for our clients are strategically optimized for about 8-10 weeks. At that point we re-test and re-design.
 
New programs shock the system - and the body reacts by losing weight and or body fat while increasing metabolism, muscle mass, strength, flexibility and/or mobility.
When we do the same routine for too long, the body eventually adapts to the initial stress it was introduced to - and it doesn't really feel a need to continue its progression.
 
BTW - let me just take a step back here and give the human body credit for how good it is at adapting. Soooo good. Soooo powerful. That's why we have to become masters at giving the body what it needs when it needs it. When it comes to your training, strategic change is a big part of what the body needs!
 
I'm certainly simplifying things a bit here. What I've described is phase I of the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). It gets a little more complicated with phases 2 and 3, which is a little more than I want to get into with this post.
 
Bottom line, it's crucial that you make strategic changes and vary your training program based on short and long-term goals. Back to our initial question, yes, one simple way to do this week to week or even session to session can be by increasing resistance (weight).
 
 
For example, let's say client X performs squats regularly for 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 100 lbs. The total weight lifted is 3,000 lbs. Now say in week 2 she changed that to 10 sets of 3 at 125 lbs. Now the total weight lifted is 3,750 lbs. It's a simple change but, believe me, her body will know the difference.
 
Here's the deal though. Fitness is a science. If you want the best program designed for YOUR body as part of a well-structured comprehensive program that will spark maximum results, seek the help of a qualified professional (yes, I know of a good one!).
 
At Functional Elements, we base our program design on testing and evaluation ... what we see, what we hear (from you) and what we can measure. Where you WANT to be is only part of the equation. Where your body IS now and determining the best path for success is the other. Our job at FE is to put it all together.
 
Keep moving everyone - and BE WELL!.
 
Tony Muyco, III, NSCA, CSCS
Director of Training
Functional Elements Training & Nutrition