May 03

Vary exercise routine for best results.

It’s not often I find myself agreeing with George Hook but here’s an anecdote from one of his articles featured in the Cork News.

….The first time I encountered the law of diminishing returns was in the gym. I was a young rugby player bursting with enthusiasm and I had figured out that the best way of claiming my starting place as a second row in the St Mary’s team was to build more muscle. I knew nothing about lifting weights so I threw myself into it as best I could.

After about three weeks of furious bench pressing, one of the trainers in the gym came over to me and quietly whispered that I was wasting my time. “Why?” I had asked, slightly taken aback. As far as I was concerned, I was getting stronger by the day.

“Well”, he said, “I’ve watched you lift that same bar up and down in the same routine for the last month or so and it won’t be long before you hit the flat zone. The flat zone”, he explained, ” is when your body adapts to the exercise and stops gaining any benefit from it. In fact,” he continued, “over a period of time, your muscles will begin to get softer if you keep at the same routine. It is the basic law of diminishing returns; the more you do the less you get out of it.”

“The key to getting stronger”, he explained, “is to vary your routine and keep your body guessing. Change your exercises every day and you’ll see a huge difference in a matter of weeks.”

He was right…..

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