Change It Up!

It’s really easy to get caught up in routine, especially when it comes to exercise patterns. One of my favorite things to do is workout in my garage gym at home. I have some kettlebells, a squat rack, an old spin bike, a barbell, some med balls, and a jump rope. Really, you don’t need much more. When I workout in my garage gym, I usually workout by myself, so I just start messing around and then a workout eventually just comes to me. The funny thing is that no matter what I think of doing before and no matter what my warm up is, the workout usually comes out looking the same in the end. I keep the loads at my usual. I work for about the same time domain. And I rest about the same between sets. Don’t get me wrong, it works. Usually I walk out of the garage having gotten a stimulus everytime. What occurred to me was that when left to my own devices, it’s usually the same stimulus. It’s kind of like runners who head out for a run and run close to the same distance at the same pace for every run. No deviation, no sprints, or intervals, no tempo runs, just the same old 5-7 miles at the same pace. I also see a lot of this “stuck in the routine” from people who found a “class” that they love going to. The “class” is the same routine every time or close to it each time. Row, run, lift some weights, do some core. Similar speeds, similar loads, similar movements. I get it!  You still get a workout in and you leave feeling accomplished. What I’m saying to you is that there is more out there. And it’s a better way to look at training.

The only way I got out of my “routine” was to follow the programing I write for others. It got me doing things that were different and got me doing things that I typically wouldn’t do. Here are my tips on how to change it up.

  • Find a gym or coach that can prescribe different types of workouts. Strength, conditioning, a mix of both strength and conditioning, preventative physical therapy movements, heavy and light, short and aggressive, long and challenging, always learning different movements, always tweaking well known movements to make them feel different and look different…  

  • You don’t have to jump in and ditch your old “routine”. Try something new just once a week or once in a while.  Remember, if you are doing the same thing or something similar to the same thing, at least you are still moving and exercising. Keep it up! When you’re ready, try something new.

  • It doesn’t have to be something new that is something crazy new. No need to go from barre class to crossfit! All I’m saying is instead of going for the same run or walk at the same pace, try mixing it up. Do one mile faster and one a bit slower. That’s a good way to start. If you are used to doing 4 sets of 10, try 5 sets of 5 with heavier load, or 6 sets of 20 with lighter load.  

The key is to find something a little different once in a while. The benefits are great! You not only are learning something new in many cases, you are forcing your body to have a different type of stimulus, something it’s not used to.  In turn, your body is forced to adapt in a different way. For many of us, doing something different is just what we need to get the scale moving again, or re-commit to a new challenge. 

What did you do recently that was different in your routine?

Let me know if you need some help with ideas on how to change it up!

FitnessAaron Leventhal