The 3 Stages of Physical Stress During Exercise

Written by Drew Schultz, NC Personal Trainer @ O2 Fitness Falls/540

When exercising, you will encounter various levels of stress. These are determined by experience, frequency, duration, intensity, and other variables. Below are the 3 stages of stress: Alarm, Adaption & Plateau.

The 3 Stages of Physical Stress:

  1. Alarm, or Shock Stage. This is when you are new to exercise, are coming back from a hiatus, or have changed up your program. You may encounter muscle soreness, or as I affectionately call it, “quality soreness,” which my personal training clients and I jokingly recall upon each follow up session. This is the period where you can be certain that you are embarking on a new phase of results. It may last two weeks to a month.
  2. Adaptation, or Progress Stage. Within two to three weeks of a new fitness program, you start to notice positive changes. Your clothing feels different to your body, you start to see certain muscles- maybe the separation between your triceps and deltoids (back of the arm and outer shoulder). Your muscles feel firmer. Your shirts, blouses, and pants are now looser around the midsection and hips. You now feel comfortable and proud to tuck in your shirt!
  3. Plateau, or Stagnation Stage. It happens too commonly to too many of us. We get comfortable in the same old routine. People say,”I’m just looking for a good routine,” but routine is not what you want for success in fitness. Maybe you always hit the circuit, the easy to use, no mess, no fuss machines. Too many members stick to this workout for years, several times a week, and wonder why they no longer see results. You don’t want haphazard workouts without direction, but you do want exercises you can come back to periodically to gauge progress. This is where the personal trainer is most beneficial.

A NC personal trainer will help guide you one on one with appropriate exercises, just for you, at the stage you are currently in. A personal trainer will carefully work with you during the first stage, so you are learning the exercises, how to perform them safely, and how to get the most benefit out of them and will enable you through the Progress stage, as this ideally should be never ending. He or she will also make sure you do not enter the Plateau stage, or will get you out of the Plateau if you have never worked with a personal trainer before.

There are many beneficial techniques that may be new to you when you work with a personal trainer. They are best learned in person. Contact O2 Fitness today to reignite the Progress phase!

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