Before you print out that 30-day push up challenge, you may want to consider a workout that’s a little more varied. Repetitive exercises may not be as effective as you hope.
Sommer Vriezelaar, group exercise coordinator at ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club, says that switching up your workout is an important part of staying fit.
“The body adapts quickly to doing the same things over and over. While still doing a workout, you will not maximize your potential,” says Vriezelaar. You may also miss working important muscle groups.
The solution? Switch it up.
“If your body is constantly challenged between plyometrics, cardio and strength, it doesn’t have time to adapt. This increases your opportunity for muscle fatigue, which leads to muscle growth,” explains Vriezelaar. “You will also burn more calories by varying your routine. For example, adding cardio into a lifting session will keep your heart rate higher and more post-workout calories will be burned.”
Keeping your body on its toes is the goal of Total Body Blast, a group class at ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club. Each class, the moves and equipment change to give your body a challenging interval workout. Vriezelaar says in addition to being more effective, it’s also more engaging. “Participants are constantly moving between weights and cardio and other types of equipment to enjoy a well-rounded workout that never gets boring.”
But there’s no reason to keep varied workouts in the classroom. Vriezelaar recommends taking a tour of your gym with a floor trainer to create a few workouts you can choose from.
“Learn what the different types of equipment do,” she says. “One day, use the equipment for weight training, but the next weight day, use free weights or a medicine ball. If you go to the gym for an hour three days a week, mix cardio and strength with yoga or pilates.”
The No. 1 rule: Don’t let things get boring or too easy.
“See a trainer, create mini-goals and once reached, change the goals and change the routine,” advises Vriezalaar.
What’s your favorite “go to” workout? Let us know in the comments below!