If you feel like you’re stuck in a bit of a rut with your fitness, it may be time to evaluate where you’re at and give your routine a bit of a spring clean!
Research shows that after 1-6 weeks of consistent exercise our bodies will adapt to a typical fitness routine. Maybe your motivation has hit a bit of a plateau or your weight loss has come to a stand still, or maybe you’re a beginner to exercise with a few nerves on how to move forward with your training.
We’ve got 6 ways to spring clean your fitness routine to have you firing from all cylinders and your goals back on track in no time.
If you’ve been completing the same exercises for weeks on end now because they are familiar and easy, it’s time to step outside of your comfort zone to challenge your body with some new moves. Hit the weights next time you’re at the gym or hop on the cardio machine that you’ve been avoiding!
Cherilyn Hultquist, from the American College of Sport Medicine, has said: “If you are seeing no progress toward your goals and you feel no physical or mental challenge, then it’s probably time to train outside of the box. In the gym this can be as simple as making an effort to increase the amount of weight you are lifting, adding more speed or additional incline to the treadmill.”
Maximise your training session for weight loss and fire up fitness levels by increasing your intensity at each training session. Train faster, have less breaks between exercises and increase your 45 second rounds to 60 second rounds.
You could try giving HIIT a go – your body will love you for it no matter what your health and fitness goals! If weight loss is a goal, there are studies that have shown that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style workouts can blast more fat than regular paced exercises. While other studies show that HIIT provides performance benefits for athletes as well as improving the health of recreational exercisers. (http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit)
Pick 2-3 of your regular strength exercises and change your number of repetitions next time you complete them – increase your weight and complete less repetitions or decrease the weight slightly and increase the repetitions for some muscle endurance.
The Köhler effect will have you working harder in a group setting than on your own, so pump up your exercise routine by joining a group training session or gym class. Pick something that sits in line with your health and fitness goals so you stay on track and don’t get side tracked.
Train the same muscle groups but from a different angle – if you’ve only been bench pressing - try chest flys, if you’ve been barbell bicep curling - try incline dumbbell curls or mix your lunges up with step forward lunges, step back lunges or side lunges.
If you’re not reaching your health and fitness goals and you’re struggling to challenge yourself, try employing an expert to help you. A personal trainer can devise an exercise plan specifically for you, your goals and your fitness levels – keeping you motivated and accountable along the way too.
The New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals recently published a study that demonstrates, for the first time in a fitness club setting, that members whose training is directed by well-qualified PTs, administering evidence-based training regimens, achieve significantly greater improvements in lean body mass and other dimensions of fitness than members who direct their own training.