The Principle of Reversibility

Golden Rules 4 Reversibility

Just as overload will stimulate improvements, failure to use your fitness (i.e. under-load) will lead to declines in fitness.

Deconditioning begins after a few weeks of inactivity. The good news is that fitness gains can be maintained with less exercise than it took to get them.

In most cases, if intensity is maintained, the number of workouts per week can be decreased. Modest fitness gains may be maintained by staying active through sports and leisure activities.

Golden Rule Recap:

Golden Rule #1 – The Principle of Overload

Golden Rule #2 – The Principle of Specificity

Golden Rule #3 – The Principle of Individual Differences

The Principle of Individual Differences

Two people starting the same exercise program at the same time will notice that different workloads are needed to create the desired overload. One person may then adapt more quickly and show greater improvements over the same time period. Such variations are completely normal based on their starting fitness level, tolerance of effort, genetic differences and variations in lifestyle.

There is no single workout that will work for every body, appeal to every person, and fit every schedule. Personal preference is a valid and important consideration when designing an exercise program.

Especially because you will be more motivated to stick with a program that you enjoy. Long term motivation is critical because compliance is the biggest obstacle to fitness. People often give up on their fitness routine before it has a chance to work.

It is sad but true that quitting is the #1 trend in fitness.

In fitness, failure is the norm. This has been well documented in scientific studies for decades. The most commonly cited statistic is a 50% dropout rate by six months into an exercise program.

So how do you avoid becoming a statistic?

The principle of individual differences applies to adherence as much as any other part of fitness planning. Here are a 5 tips to help you customize your program to your needs:

  1. Own Your Fitness Program – Set goals that reflect your true priorities and focus on 1 or 2 at a time. Give them your full attention.
  2. Measure Your Baseline – If you want to improve your fitness, select appropriate assessments or biometrics and record your scores. If you want to increase your physical activity or improve your diet, estimate your current daily mileage or servings of fruits and vegetables.
  3. Create Action Steps – Map out your weekly schedule and book appointments with yourself to tend to your fitness goals. Going to the gym and prepping healthy snacks won’t happen by themselves. Maintain your commitment to yourself.
  4. Plan For Setbacks – Life will interfere with even the best of plans. Take a breath, refocus on your desired goals and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  5. Track Your Progress – Fitness improvements that are measurable and meaningful will not happen in days or weeks. Plan on retesting your fitness every 3 months. Tally your action steps weekly and review the trends monthly. Keeping a broader focus will show the big picture of progress.




Keep Fitness Healthy in 2018

On this 1st day of the 1st month of a new year, people everywhere are taking their 1st steps on a new journey, towards a new goal.

Or maybe it’s not a new goal. Maybe it’s an old goal. Maybe it’s something you have always wanted that has always eluded you. No matter. If today is a 1st day for you, you are in good company.

The “fresh start feeling” of a new year is a post-holiday reflex. It’s practically automatic.

Visions are clear.

Goals are set.

Intentions are focused.

Even if you haven’t resolved to change. Even if you haven’t set any goals to lose weight or get in shape, the idea may be on your mind, even if it’s the back of your mind.

If that “fresh start feeling” is on your mind today, I invite you to make a promise to yourself. I invite you to make a pledge to…

keep fitness healthy.jpg

What does that mean? Fitness is healthy. Everyone knows that fitness is healthy. Health & fitness go together like peanut butter & jelly, milk & cookies, bacon & eggs…you get the idea.

We think of health and fitness as inseparable BFFs. But there’s a problem with that assumption. And it’s as common as the fresh start reflex.

We know what happens to New Year’s Resolutions. The shine fades. Plans get derailed. Often before the end of January. And nobody is surprised. Things go back to normal.

I think you know where this is going…

Have you, or someone you know, ever set a diet, exercise or fitness goal that you knew – with every muscle fiber of your being – wasn’t healthy? Your mind was stoked but your gut was screaming NOOOOOOO!!! 

Starting today, I’m going to the gym every day.

I need to lose 10 pounds…in 7 days.

I’m not getting results. Time to double my workouts.

No more desserts. Ever!

From now on I only eat clean and train dirty.

I shouldn’t have had those drinks and desserts. Now I need to punish myself with exercise.

Making the pledge to Keep Fitness Healthy means resisting all of the usual temptations that set people up to fail. And make no mistake, fitness failure is the norm. Statistics in national health reports bear this out year after year. So do anecdotal reports. It’s so common we hardly notice when it happens. We go right back to normal.

To stay on a healthy fitness track this year you need to avoid these common pitfalls:

Quick Fixes

Simple Solutions

Unrealistic Goals

Unbalanced programs.


Trade these temptations for a realistic fitness plan that is balanced. Set long-term, achievable goals. Then add daily or weekly action steps. Plan for setbacks. Plan how you will get over them and get back on track. Be kind to yourself along the way. There is no finish line. A healthy fitness plan is a lifelong journey with lifelong benefits.

These ideas probably don’t sound new. They aren’t. They don’t come with glamour and sex appeal. They are not clickbait.

But they are vital to the health of your fitness plan.