Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are You Stuck In A Rut?

One reason people fail to get the results they want from their exercise routine is that they continue to do the same thing over and over and over. They do the same machine circuit, they jog the same route, they use the same DVD, they always do the elliptical because that's their favorite, etc.

It's very tempting to do. You have your habit and it's comfortable. You know you're capable of doing these things because that's what you always do.

At the end of the workout, you can feel you accomplished something. You completed 45 minutes on the stationary bike; you jogged 3 miles; you did 12 reps of each strength training exercise. Whatever you did, you finished the task.

Change is hard for most people. You can't go into autopilot. You have a learning curve when you're doing something different. You might "fail" to master a new exercise on the first try or you  might "only" make it through 15 minutes of cardio because you switched to intervals and that's all your body could handle.

The problem is that our bodies adapt to the stresses we place upon them so if you always do the same thing, your body won't get leaner or stronger. It doesn't need to. It has figured out the most efficient way of doing whatever you're doing so that you'll even burn fewer calories than when you first started.

Even if you regularly increase your weights or walk faster (and sooner or later, you won't physically be able to walk faster), your body won't work as hard or burn as many calories as when you change your routine regularly.

Now, I'm not suggesting you start just switching things up willy-nilly. Work with a trainer or get a program from a respected fitness coach like Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training or Alwyn Cosgrove's  The New Rules of Lifting for Abs: A Myth-Busting Fitness Plan for Men and Women Who Want a Strong Core and a Pain-Free Back . (Despite the title, it's an all around fitness book, not just an abs/core program.)

You can do it...


No comments: