Why aren’t I getting fitter? My workouts seem as hard, if not harder than they’ve ever been.

Just the other day I was asked, “Why aren’t I getting fitter? My workouts seem as hard, if not harder than they’ve ever been. What’s wrong with my body?!?”

A: Oh, so you’ve noticed how hard we work to work you as hard as we safely can… thanks for the compliment.  If I was a cartoon character I think I’d be called The Pessimistic Panda or The Sassy Salmon…

Seriously, whoever told you that fitness gets easier as you get more fit was lying to you.  The Tour De France Champ Greg Lemonds said it best, “it doesn’t get easier, but you get fitter.”  The converse is also true, and perhaps more important, “if it gets easier, you’re getting less fit.”

Taking it easy is an easy sell.  It appeals to the lazy and irrational child inside of us all.  Who wouldn’t want easier and less demanding fitness opportunities to somehow be more effective than the opposite?  Who wouldn’t want 20 min of exercise to magically be equivalent to an hour? Nobody doesn’t wish these things were true, and also we all have the common sense to understand these are cons.

That’s the mystery in a nutshell: if you are going to benefit (health and fitness-wise) then its going to be hard, and generally be harder than it ever has been.

This is because your body needs a sufficient stimulus to be forced to adapt. If the stimulus isn’t sufficient then your body has no reason to adapt, and as the stimulus gets easier and more comfortable your body no longer has even a reason to maintain.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you.  There is something wrong with those who lie about having found an easy way or “hacks,” or other such nonsense.   It’s harder than it’s ever been because you are fitter than you’ve ever been, and we can’t even maintain what you have if we go easy.

So next time your workout is hard as heck! Be proud of yourself for getting stronger and fitter.

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