Steady increase in intensity or stable

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by albino smurf, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. albino smurf

    albino smurf Professional

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    Do you always try to elevate the levels of your workout or do you keep it at the same level? I generally try to make my most difficult work out my standard and then elevate it again later but some friends of mine are saying that I should keep it at the same level. What works for you all??
     
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  2. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Are your referring to lifting? Or, what?

    -Robert
     
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  3. albino smurf

    albino smurf Professional

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    Overall workout. Cardio, lifting, match play, etc. Do you continue to push yourself when working out or do you stick with a routine that suits you? Sorry if it wasn't clear, hope that helps.

    I've been thinking about it a lot. In terms of tennis it boils down to hitting with people that are better than I am so as to make myself better. Running I am shooting for better times and/or distances, same with cycling. Lifting I tend to stick with a routine and increase reps or weight after a month or so.

    It seems to me that if you don't do this you will only get better to a point.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
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  4. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Here is my rule of thumb:

    We all rise to our level of incompetence, and rarely higher. ;)

    Lifting involves progressive resistance. Once you stop increasing the weight, type of exercise, and/or volume of training, you have plateaued. Probably.

    Tennis, on the other hand, is a combination of skill sets, thinking sets, and athletic sets.
    Depending on a host of factors, most people can significantly improve the first two. Athletic sets are marginally improveable for very fit people, but there are sub-sets of the athletic set that are greatly improveable for non-fit people.

    I would identify your weaknesses in the three prime areas noted above, then prioritize them, then make a plan to fix them, then as Agassi says, 'work your plan.'

    If you are static, you aren't moving, so I am philosophically opposed to the notion of stasis. As a practical matter, it is the reality for almost all of us.

    -Robert
     
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  5. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

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    lifting-wise i doubt more than 1% of the population have approached their potential, theres always room for improvement.

    Tennis-wise, i think at some point it begins to come down to simply conditioning and not whether you have the ability, but whether you can always access that ability.
     
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  6. albino smurf

    albino smurf Professional

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    "whether you can always access that ability"

    Totally agree. The ability to maintain the focus over time while exerting ones self to an extreme level seems to me to be the whole deal.
     
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  7. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    Personally, I try to improve on something every time I work out. Increase weight, more reps, faster time - something. However, I recognize that there is a practical limit to what I can do. For example, I'm never going to bench 300 pounds. I'm just not built for it. I also recognize that as I approach my full potential, the gains I make are going to slow WAY down, and the law of diminishing marginal returns will kick in. It just won't be worth the effort it would take to increase my bench that extra 5 pounds.
     
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  8. BallzofSkill

    BallzofSkill Professional

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    gotta up the intensity. the old saying 'no pain no gain' isn't just lip service. your body works like this:

    you break it down, and build it up.

    stable workouts just stagnates it. it adapts quickly and doesn't try to build on itself. if you change your routine, up the intensitiy, your body has to adapt and gets better and better.
     
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  9. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    i always aim to increase the length/distance when running or the weight when lifting etc. i know a buddy who does the same routine at the same weight every time. that does not sound fun at all to me.
     
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  10. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Breaking down in workouts and building up through recovery periods is the general process we go through to make gains in strength training, but for me it's important to keep my objectives in mind. I lift for endurance (lighter weights and longer sets) and ride a bike a couple of times a week so that I'm physically better off on the courts, but I'm not working toward a century on my bike or anything heroic with the weights.

    On good days when I feel like I have a lot in the tank, I'll go harder on the weights, on the roads, or at the courts, but I know that I'm night and day better off if I get in a light workout rather than none at all. I guess all I'm saying is that I don't beat myself up for turning in a light workout - maintenance is really important for me. Ultimately if I keep after my lifting and riding, I eventually need to go longer and harder to feel results. I think it's a little different on the courts, though.

    Robert made the point about the combination of things you use when playing tennis (well played sir). Playing with better hitters is certainly a good thing, but you can be your own best taskmaster against the people you're already familiar with if you go to work with productive plans on the courts. Even when you're grinding for practice, you can go harder after balls with more deliberate footwork, insist on getting everything on one bounce, etc. It worked for Jimmy Connors, right? Off the court, it's usually good if I get myself at least a little tired and on the courts I need to be deliberate about working good habits, not bad ones and honing my brainpower.
     
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