Recently, someone asked me why if he runs 6 miles a day is he not losing weight. His eating is balanced and he isn’t lazy the rest of the day, but it seems that after an initial 20 pound weight loss he can’t seem to take any more off. His body doesn’t seem to be changing either, so why is he plateauing?
The answer is pretty simple.
You know how when you listen to a repetitive sound you almost stop hearing it? At first you notice the beat of a song and you feel the rhythm. You feel excited and maybe start bobbing your head. But if it’s a long song, like one of those never-ending 13-minute-the-artist-loves-himself-so-much-he-needs-you-to-hear-more-of-his-amazingness songs then after a few minutes it just fades into the background and you forget it’s there. As soon as it’s over though, the sound of the silence is deafening. And then eventually you get used to the silence too, and only when the refrigerator starts rumbling do you notice that it was ever quiet.
So, your body is the same way. If you run 6 miles every day, day in a day out, eventually your body stops noticing it and it’s no longer working. It gets used to the activity and stops reacting to it. It becomes so routine that your body adapts and doesn’t recognize it as “work”. As soon as you change your routine up though, your body doesn’t know what hit it and it’s forced to adapt to the new activity, which forces it to work a little harder. You need variety not just for the sake of boredom, but to shock your system into working again.
So, the simple secret is to vary up your routine every 4-6 weeks or so.
Here are some easy things you can do to change things up:
- Rather than running 6 miles straight, run for 3 miles in intervals. Jog 1/4 of a mile and then run 1/4 of a mile. Keep alternating that way until you’ve completed 3 miles.
- If you’re strength training try to lift heavier weights with lower repetitions or lighter weights with higher repetitions.
- Switch up the running to biking or swimming. The change in activity will majorly shock your system.
If you have any questions about this, let me know