Have you ever watched Groundhog Day or 12 Dates of Christmas? They’re both loop movies, where the same day is repeated over and over. Is your workout like this? Are you always doing the same old exercises week after week? It’s time to come in like a wrecking ball on your current regime and set up new challenges to keep you and your body on top of your game.
Let’s be honest, we’re pretty darn good at finding our comfort zone but if we’re being really honest, when was the last time we ventured out of this warm cosy place? That’s right, I’m talking about getting off that treadmill (a.k.a your gym bestie) and into a Pilates or Yoga class or a Hip Hop dance group. Stay on the treadmill and you stay stuck. You won’t see progress if you don’t change it up. Your body goals breakthrough will come when your workouts are ticking all the boxes such as cardio, strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, new equipment, partner workouts, explosiveness, endurance, high intensity and low intensity rather than just one or two.
Repeating the same exercise routine, quite frankly, can get boring. It’s boring for your muscles and it’s definitely not exciting your mind or your motivation. If you continuously perform the same exercises (whether it’s in a class, a run or a gym workout) you begin to experience what is known as plateau. And that’s not super enjoyable. Your body begins to know what’s coming, what’s expected of it and because of these things it is no longer challenged.
Fortunately, I’m about to share with you the ultimate workout hack when it comes to getting your body goals breakthrough. And that’s to mix things up. Shake off that old tiresome routine and dare yourself to try something new. By changing your exercise routine, even just one day a week, you’ll not only wake your brain from its ‘blaaah’ but you’ll kick those muscles into gear. By mixing up your workouts you shock your body into working effectively and efficiently, and you’ll find it spikes your excitement and motivation too. You may find running 5km easy peasy, (you’ve been doing it for the last six months after all) but how would you find a Cycle class or a TRX workout? You never know, a Friday afternoon Bootybarre class could be just what you need to get you tip top for the weekend. You know what I mean.
If you need more encouragement to move out of your comfort zone, consider this: repeatedly pushing the same muscle groups could result in injury. As well as keeping things fresh, changing up your workouts is a way to make sure that you spread the effort around your entire body and muscle groups, pushing them but also resting them by giving them a day or two ‘off’ to heal. That’s why it’s a particularly good idea to break up high intensity sessions with low intensity ones in between. Balance out strength circuits with a day of flexibility focus and so on.
Nervous about making a change? Well, you’re right to be as it can feel scary venturing out of your comfort zone. But come on, you’re a grown up now. Everyone has to start somewhere and a good instructor will ease you into a class or new workout without making you feel uncomfortable. If you feel better with a wingwoman or three at your side, try getting a group of friends to come along with you. Experience something new together. Results and fun aside, that Wednesday night dance class might soon become your new fave weekly ritual.
If you want to make sure you’re not slipping into workout Groundhog Day, you can use a training diary to divide your workouts into different genres. Planning your week of workouts ahead lets you see the bigger picture and it can also help to uncover some fitness areas you might be lacking (like workouts that challenge your flexibility or coordination etc.).
And finally, yes, we know how much easier it is to ‘say’ that you’re going to make a change than it is to actually ‘do’ (remember how long it took you to get that new hair style?) Remember, just one new activity or workout can make the world of difference to your fitness and life. You just need to take that first step. Go on go for it!