We all, at onetime or another, make a promise to get in shape, stay in shape and feel good about ourselves. But the truth is, more often than not, working out and fitness exercising turns out to be a drag. It shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be that way when it can be challenging, exciting and interesting. When was the last time you were done your workout and you felt like you accomplished something – not just happy to be done! If you have trouble with the answer to that question the culprits are most likely inconsistency and boredom, two of the biggest factors and reasons why people don’t reach their fitness potential.
Have you ever watched people come in the gym and do the same routine day in and day out, the same fitness exercises in the same order over and over and over again? You probably don’t see them for long because boredom sets in and unfortunately they aren’t seeing any fitness success, despite their hard work. So how do we fix that, you know what they say about variety. Over the years I’ve learned a lot from my clients, and number 1 on the list is the more I vary their workouts the more they enjoy it, the better they feel and the quicker they see success. The focus and goal remains the same but their workouts always have something new in them; challenging them both physically and mentally. It is really quite simple to vary your workout! Try using a stability ball instead of an exercise bench, if you do your back exercises with a high cable use a low cable, if you usually work on machines try dumbbells or barbells. Finally, one of my favorite ways to vary workouts is to do the exercises in the reverse order. Believe me, for the effort you put in to varying your workouts and challenging yourself, the rewards come back many times over. Variety is the spice of life and truly of exercising too!
Another important thing you can do to achieve your fitness success is to be consistent in working out. Consistency, by the way, comes in 2 parts. First and most obviously is in scheduling. It is a good idea to realistically assess how much time you can dedicate to your fitness goals – then schedule it in your day planner – in Pen! Think of it as a non negotiable event; be as consistent as you can with days of the week and times of day. Since you’re going to spice up your routines, no more boredom remember, your regular workout schedule can become a treasured part of your week. Part two in consistency involves the exercise specifics for your goal. In order to achieve fitness success, you need to consistently follow the appropriate protocols including the number of reps, sets and rest time for your specific personal goal. An example of proper protocol would be if you want to loss weight, be consistent with 2 to 3 days per week of strength training and 5 to 6 days per week of cardio training. When you are strength training complete 1 to 3 sets of each exercise with 12 to 20 repetitions in each set and limit your rest time to 15 to 30 seconds in between sets.
I’ve talked about variety and consistency in planning your exercise program which brings me to this last point. How do you combine different kinds of exercises into your workout routine. Specifically, exercise types like cardio, strength training and flexibility, Yoga or Pilates. Believe it or not there is actually a proper order, exercise protocol, for what type of exercise you should do 1st, 2nd or 3rd and that’s because of the effect that the exercise types have on your body. Accepted protocol is as follows. After a warm up strength training comes first because you always want your body the freshest and strongest when lifting weights. Cardio should always follow strength training because it’s tiring and wears you out. Last should be flexibility, Yoga or Pilates because they stretch out your muscles. Remember to always end your workouts with and an easy stretch routine and a cool down! Use as many different types of exercises as you can in your workouts, but remember the proper order so you get the best benefit! I hope this makes it easier to achieve fitness success from all of the work you put into your workouts.