imageIn strength training there is a danger of reaching a “plateau”, where you no longer make strength or size gains, if you continue with the same workout over a long period of time. The problem is that our bodies are outstanding at adapting to the workout. The body learns the stress that is placed on it and then doesn’t need to grow more or get stronger to handle that stress. Common strategies to combat this issue are to vary the number of reps or sets or weight or exercises. Even if you do reach a plateau, it is possible to break through it by changing your routine.

Now let’s ask a question. Is it possible to reach a plateau in your Christian walk? Is it possible to get so comfortable in your routine that you atrophy and lose strength? Same church service each Sunday, same seat, same greetings on the way in and out, same brief prayer before bed, … When was your last intimate, meaningful talk with God? When did you last inconvenience yourself on behalf of another? Would Jesus call you hot, cold, or lukewarm (Revelation 3:16)?

If a plateau is possible, it seems like something we should avoid. Here’s a strategy:

  1. Ask God what he says about your strength training progress.
  2. If you need to change your training, ask how to do it.
  3. Be ready to respond.

Here’s what I know. It’s very exciting. God, the ultimate personal trainer, has a specific workout plan just for you (Jeremiah 29:11). Break through your plateau. There is unimaginable strength waiting for you! Get big!

About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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