What is an Adaptation Cycle?

Written on the 19 January 2015 by Studio Pilates

When you're starting a new type of exercise or increasing your existing form of exercise intensity, resistance or duration, your body will tend to go through an adaptation cycle where your body is adapting to the load you're placing it under.

You will have micro and macro adaptation cycles. A micro adaptation cycle is usually very quick and can be as fast as a 24-48 hour process and can even be a daily occurrence. You see you might do some exercise and challenge the body in some way and then a day or two later it has recovered, stronger and fitter than before.

After many micro adaptation cycles you may however experience a macro adaptation cycle.

What you may experience during this macro adaptation cycle is a few days in a row of feeling quite fatigued or flat. This is the body going into a bigger deeper adaptation phase or process and when it comes out of it in a few days your body will have taken a big jump forward in fitness and the load it can handle and the amount and intensity of the exercise you can do.

It's important to be aware of this cyclic adaptation process and that you may feel a little flat at times because you may feel a little unmotivated or you might find it a challenge to be able to push yourself.

It's important to remember that this is a generally short lived process and you should engage in 'active recovery' during this time. Active recovery means that you are still sticking to your exercise plan and doing your workouts but you may not be expecting new levels of excellence to be attained or new records being set is all.

It's important to keep going through the motions and push through this phase and know that you'll feel better soon.

The good news is that macro adaptation cycles will get further and further apart the fitter you get, so you will have longer periods of feeling good and optimal performance.



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Author: Studio Pilates