The sun is beginning to set on this series and it has been a lot of fun to write it out, however, I suppose even something that has the potential to change your training such as these concepts can be redundant after a while. As you can see these ideas are interwoven together and when applied will help you to continue to have success in your fitness over the long haul.

In fact these “commandments” are so powerful that if you neglect one it will leave you in regret over lost time and a possible injury. So be wise instead and apply them to your life and fitness as you train. You may find that you apply some of them easily and others need work. That is cool just keep working on it and learning how to apply these points to your life and you will be successful.

I was once an imbalanced person with these concepts and I always sought to overload my system and it worked for a while. However, I ended up inured and deconditioned as result. If you are like me, then today’s command is just for you. That is the GAS principle, which means General Adaptation syndrome; this law teaches us that success is not linear and that we need times of lower intensity work along without high intensity training.

What is low intensity?
I am can remember once speaking with a co-worker who was shamelessly on steroids. As we were talking he was saying how tired he was and how he didn’t feel as if he could train that day. My response was a simple and scientific fact that he should do a light day. I promise you that his head spun around as if he was in the Exorcist and he said sarcastically “A light day.” You see in his mind that meant something that it is not and he also had no idea about this GAS concept and how the body works when it comes to training. (By the way this fellow fancied himself a trainer.)

Our bodies and brain cannot tolerate high intensity all of the time without some kind of negative consequence and without continuing to make gains! As a result we need some lower intensity activities so that we don’t lose our fitness gains but not too much as to keep in this cycle of overuse.

Decrease volume:

If you are constantly hitting a movement or muscle with a lot of repetitions and various exercise or if you are doing a lot of volume with the same move, you will want to cut that in half for a bit. This is not hard to do, but you will have to turn off your brain from making you think that this approach will not help you! A simple example of this is, if you are doing 6 exercises per a movement pattern do 3 for a while and add in a bit of loading to those sets or any of the other approaches form my overload post. (Except volume)


This most of the time means the external load but it can also mean the difficulty of the exercise. So if you like me love to lift heavy lighten up the load and do pause reps or work exclusively on your technique and make it better.

For those that know me well, you know that I am not a big fan of my upper trap development and have been working on getting them bigger. I have also had great success with this endeavor through intelligent science based exercise selection and the use of high frequency training. In fact I hit my traps in some way or another every workout. So if you are a person that uses high frequency, cut back. For example if you squat three times a week, do it once or twice and let your body recover and help you make gains as you do!

Use the same but different approach:

This idea is pretty simple if you are tired in a pattern and are not getting results from it any more, switch to something that will help your overall goal but will be different enough. This is simple to do, if you love conventional Deadlifts- do sumo d.l. s for a while and get stronger in that and most likely your conventional numbers will improve as well. This can apply to any movement as well, just find different variations and do them intentionally. So in other words, this is specialized variety and not variety for the sake of itself.

It seems funny to me that fitness and getting results is not what must people think and practice. It seems that people err in one or two directions: either they do not work hard enough and never get results or they work too hard to often and also never get anywhere in the long run. This GAS principle must not be ignored, if you are overloading and seeking to move ahead. They are many different ways to apply this concept and you can be creative with it as you learn more about fitness and how you personally react to the training stimulus. Just make sure that you do apply it and keep getting results and combating injury by doing so!


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