The Wholistic Revolution – The Myth of “Maintenance”

by Kenneth Poucket, Director of Revolutionary Affairs

“If you are not moving forward, you are going backward.” I heard this phrase growing up constantly no matter where I was: at sports practice, in school, or at the gym. It would seem that the coaches, teachers, and training partners I had put a premium on getting a little better every day! In last month’s article, I wrote about how to make a movement program sustainable for the long haul, something that, it would seem, is in stark contrast to the “quick fix” methodology promoted by trainers, gyms, and the fitness industry as a whole today. Well, today we are going to look at another misconception that they go out of their way to promote: the myth of “maintenance.”

I have been a professional trainer for going on 16 years, and there has not been one week of that 16 years that I have not heard, or been asked, “When am I going to be done with this?” It doesn’t matter what the situation is, whether strength training or conditioning or mobility work. The follow up goes, “I just want to get to a point where I can maintain what I have.” You see, the prevailing thought process is that somehow, someday, they are going to reach a magical place in their training where they “won’t have to work as hard” or could “scale it back and not have to train so much.”

It is in this very line of thinking that they will spread the seeds of failure. There are NO quick fixes. There are NO shortcuts to success. There is NO such thing as “maintaining.” You are either moving forward, or you are going backward. What works today will not tomorrow. If continuing to see progress is important to you, and it should be, then you must realize that for you to keep improving, you must continue to increase what you are doing. It is quite simple, but remember, I said, “simple.” Not easy.

When it comes to a properly designed movement program, the emphasis should always be on incremental gains in fitness over the long haul. Progressions in frequency, loads, sets, and reps or decreases in the time you rest in between sets would be good examples of this. If you keep things the same for too long, you aren’t maintaining your fitness; you are accommodating the stimuli of training and therefore going in the opposite direction. To do anything other than what is described above is silly, for it leads to maintenance, which we already addressed is going backwards in disguise. Do not fall into this trap! It leads to wasted training time, no results, and a major decrease in motivation over time. Next time you find yourself training, take stock of what you are doing. Are your training loads increasing? Are you getting faster? Measure to find out if you are improving or not. If you are not seeing the improvements you want, something needs to change!

Column No. 2 – This Article is “Revolution Approved.” For more info contact The Wholistic Revolution at 734-309-7173 or visit thewholisticrevolution.com

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