In a process of one question begetting another, Meade Rubenstein made a comment about something I stated in my original question. It seems like an interesting enough question on its own, so here we are. The comment was:
Never Maintain, always increase intensity or change workout to keep your body from getting use to the workout, which reduces it's effectiveness.
If my goal for my strength training is more supplemental to my other fitness goals, and I am happy with the strength I've achieved, is there really any reason to keep pushing harder? For example, my initial goals support general health. An added bonus would be the ability to get back into martial arts which I've neglected for a couple years due to various health problems exacerbated by my weight at the time. In martial arts, absolute strength (i.e. what you can lift) doesn't really mean much. Your technique and your ability to flow from one movement to another is more important. In fact, your power is directly linked to your technique. That's what makes a small man with polio in one leg able to crush a coconut in mid air, while Arnold Schwarzenegger might have a hard time doing the same.
So instead of poling for your opinions on whether you agree or disagree with Meade's statement, I'll ask my usual mutipart question (hopefully I'll understand more):
- Are there any negative consequences to keeping the weight constant while you perform your workout? (assumption is that you are already where you want to be)
- If constant growth is important, how do you keep from becoming the overly muscular guy so you can still fit in your clothes? I worked hard to get down to the size I am, and replacing my wardrobe is expensive. I'd rather not go back up.
- How do you manage the demands of strength training when you only want it as a supplement to your other fitness activities? (cardio/running, martial arts, etc.)