The Progressive Stimulus Principle
No matter what school of thought, what nutritional program, what training split, if there isn’t an obvious and quantifiable stimulus rendered in RECENT history (and again, and again, and again), then there cannot be an expectation of progression outcome.
People will tell me stories about how they lost weight once upon a time from running, juicing vegetables, fill-in-the-blank here. Cool story, basic bro/bra. You went from low stimulus to high stimulus. Try not being so basic.
Three days after you’re running 5 miles every morning (I am NOT recommending this, btw) and starving yourself via green juicing every morning your body has established that schema as your maintenance baseline. What’s the NEW stimulus RELATIVE to that average?
In fact, even for the above-basic bro out there, when you proffer evidence of going all the way up to 6 miles per day, can you show me all other variables remain the same? That is, the 20% increase in duration you’re so proud of - does that actually amount to a 20% stimulus increase? Did the pace remain the same or faster? Did the food intake remain the same or decrease (which almost never happens, since your body is trying to increase hunger to make up for the extra duration)? Almost assuredly, no. And THAT is why progress eludes you.
Instead, set a very low baseline across the board. From this, we can predictably render a RELATIVE-to-recent-baseline stimulus in perpetuity.
The spring of 2007 I lost 70lbs in 5 months never doing more than 16 minutes of “cardio” on a RECUMBENT bike. No injuries. No tendinitis. No burnout. No lack of motivation or willpower issues (it’s only 16 after all, and on a recumbent bike for crying out loud) for 5 months. No repetitive pounding from walking or running. Even if I were experiencing hip or back pain from other issues, I could always hop on a bike and OUTDO my prior 16 minute performance.
There’s no getting away from the principle of progressive stimulus. You’re better off embracing it by finding a starting point low enough to continuously, reliably, predictably outperform for 3-6 consecutive months.
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