Why Workout Variety Is Key
Humans are naturally hardwired to be creatures of routine. We crave the consistency and dependability of the familiar. So when you find a workout regime that works, it’s all too easy to develop tunnel-vision and decide you need to stick with it.
Whether it’s been weeks or even years of the same old, an occasional refresh to your workout routine helps prevent you from hitting a plateau. Variation keeps your body guessing, which is how you make continuous progress toward your goals. Switching it up has benefits to your mood too — trying something new staves off boredom and burnout!
Understanding adaptive resistance
Every time you do a new exercise, your body responds by increasing its ability to handle the movement. This is how you make gains, whether in muscle mass, speed, etc. The thing is, however, your body is incredibly efficient.
The more you do the same exercise, the less your body responds because it’s become accustomed to the current load. This phenomenon is called ‘adaptive resistance’ and explains why fitness plateaus are so common. After a while, you aren’t pushing your body’s limits or increasing your muscle mass. While it’s great to master proper form, it’s important to push yourself beyond your self-imposed boundaries (but not through pain, of course!).
Plus, adaptive resistance also comes with the risk of developing an overuse injury. When the same muscles are used repeatedly in unvaried patterns, it increases wear and tear.
Time to switch up your exercise routine
Wondering how to avoid the pitfalls of adaptive resistance? Here’s our best ideas for keeping things fresh!
Try a group fitness class
Attending a new class makes it easy for you to try something new. The best part is, all you have to do is show up. The instructor does the legwork of planning the workout and guiding you through proper form. It’s also a great way to make new friends and perhaps even discover a new passion. Check out CA’s group fitness schedules here.
Exercise in a new environment
Switching things up doesn’t have to be drastic. It can be as simple as a change of scenery.
If you usually opt for the treadmill, consider taking your cardio outside or onto the indoor track at Supreme Sports Club. Used to doing HIIT at home? Perhaps it’s time to venture into a class. You can even take your workout into the water with CA’s pools and aqua fitness classes.
It can also mean trying a new piece of equipment or embracing workout tools such as resistance bands, TRX straps or medicine balls. Who knows, you may discover some new favorites!
Add complementary workouts
Cross-training is a great way to vary your workout while accomplishing your fitness goals. Consider how you can benefit from adding a complementary workout to your routine.
For example, if you’re a long-distance runner, strength training is wonderful for protecting your joints and preventing injuries. Seasoned lifters can benefit from adding some flexibility into their regimen with yoga or Pilates. Whatever it is that you do, there’s a form of cross-training that can take your performance to new heights!
Embrace progressive overload
Progressive overload is the process of gradually increasing the stress you put on your body to challenge your muscles. To embrace this principle, you can increase/alter your reps, load, intensity, sets, frequency, range of motion, time under tension, angles of lifts, types of resistance and rest periods. You can also change up the set variations in your workout.
Have some fun outdoors!
Spring is the perfect time to get moving outdoors and get your fill of the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D. If you’re in a fitness rut, why not have some fun with a game of tennis or pickleball, or a round of golf? CA offers plenty of activities that can reignite your passion for physical activity and movement.
CA’s personal trainers can help
Want professional help adding variety to your workouts? CA has 30+ skilled personal trainers happy to assist! After a free consultation, you’ll get matched with a trainer that specializes in the goals you’re trying to accomplish. Best of all, you can train in any of CA’s fitness clubs or from the comfort of your own home with our virtual program. Fill out the referral form here to get started!